Oct 11, 2017

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycles of Faith
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come."

Why? What made the king's invitation so distasteful to these guests? According to the parable, either the guests were too busy with their farms and their businesses, or else they were downright hostile to the entire idea: they "laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them." What could possibly explain this resistance?

Perhaps we have a clue in the puzzling conclusion of today's Gospel. One of the second-string guests pulled in from the streets came to the feast "not dressed in a wedding garment." The man knew he was guilty, hence his silence. And the king's punishment suggests that the fellow ought to have known better. This "wedding garment" calls to mind the preparation of our souls necessary to join in the great "wedding feast of the Lamb" (Rv 19:9), that is, heaven. This man was apparently just too lazy to get ready. He presumed that having received an invitation to the banquet was enough, that nothing was required of him. Not so. He should have demonstrated his gratitude by dressing appropriately. And what of the first-string guests? Some were too busy to bother coming; others were furious that they had been invited at all. Now, where do we fit in? Are we more concerned with worldly work than with spiritual growth? Are we offended by the very suggestion that we might need to "dress up" our souls? Or are we the disinterested Christian, willing to feast but too lazy to foster his faith? Jesus gave his life to open the gates of heaven for us. Let's show our gratitude by preparing radiant, beautiful souls worthy of the heavenly wedding feast.

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