Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A 

In today’s Gospel, Matthew 22: 1-14, Jesus uses the parable of the royal weeding feast to tell us about the heavenly kingdom.

The parable is about a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He sent out his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. The invited guest not only refused to come but also mistreated and killed the servants.

The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. (Matthew 21: 7-10)

Let us talk about the original invited guests. The king had sent invitations to them in advance, so they would have time to plan to attend the feast. How insulting for the invited guests to then refuse when the time for celebrating came! They did not care much about the King's request because they put their own interests above his. They not only insulted the King but for the whole royal family as well. The king's anger is justified because his people openly refused to give the king the honor to host them at his son’s wedding fest. Clearly, Jesus directed this warning to the people of his day, both to convey how much God wanted them to share in the joy of his kingdom, but also to give a warning about the outcomes of refusing his Son, their Messiah and Savior.

With the ones who were invited later to the wedding feast. ‘Good and the bad’ on the streets certainly refer to the Gentiles and to sinners. We may see that we are.

But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ (Matthew 21: 11-13)

This is certainly an invitation of grace. This invitation is also a warning for those who refuse it and those who approach the wedding feast unworthily. For sure, all of us are invited to the heavenly feast with our Lord and God. Let us not be like the invited guests who refused to come to the feast or like the one who came without a wedding garment. Rather, let us all prepare ourselves worthily for the feast with the host who is our loving God.

Fr. Phi Nguyen

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