Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mt 22:1-1
One of the lessons this parable teaches is the necessity of preparing ourselves to come into the presence of God. You are cordially invited into that presence, but come dressed appropriately. It is about a polite request to attend a "Wedding Feast" given by the King and all have been invited.
The King comes to view his guests which his servants have assembled. He notices one guest who is not wearing a wedding garment. The King ordered the man to be thrown out into the darkness, for many are called but few are chosen.
But like last Sunday’s second group of vineyard tenants, so with the guests who finally made it into this week's wedding feast, they were not the first invited. As Jesus lists successive groups of invitees, it becomes clear, not only are we not the first invited, we are not even the best. We get in on the third sweep of the main roads, roads separating the Promised Land from the unclean gentile territory.
Though Isaiah promised "A feast of rich food and choice wines”, the sense we're meant to get is hardly one of gracious dining in the company of elegant guests. We slipped in only when the sign went up, "open to all people".
Consider again the unfortunate guest, not dressed in a wedding garment, when it comes to the Kingdom's wedding feast, getting in does not necessarily guarantee staying in. In fact, being let in is no big deal, since everyone else, bad and good alike, got in, too. Being welcomed by the King to stay requires a wedding garment.
Paul's "Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ" reminds us that the call to accept Jesus' message is a call to fidelity, not the assurance of final victory. Only the faithful have reserved seats.
What specific threads of charity in action are woven together to fashion the "Wedding Garment" needed for our presence at Jesus' Feast? - or is it time we got back to work at the Proverbial Loom?