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Sunday, October 9, 2011

but Few are Chosen

Gospel Mt 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
"Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
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.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king 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.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."

In the Gospel today, Matthew recounts the parable of the King and the wedding feast. The story at the time of Jesus must have seemed remarkable. Think of a king like David or Solomon. Their son was getting married, and a feast was prepared. This would be an event that most everyone would relish attending. Also they would certainly wear the finest attire without even being told.

In the parable, the invited ones did not respond. In fact they responded with hostility. One who did come responded inappropriately. The king was not pleased.

Seemingly, Jesus used this parable to offset or balance others which were certainly much more positive and warm. He was talking to the chief priests and elders of the people, so he had to address them somewhat formally and spoke to challenge some of their assumptions and traditions.

I think when we hear the phrase "many are invited, but few are chosen," we naturally try to assume that we are among the chosen ones. Are we though? Have we proven ourselves worthy of the redemption of Jesus Christ? Though we are unworthy overall, Jesus has proven his love for us and his willingness to give us a second chance. And in his teachings Jesus showed the way he wants us to live. I pray that I will listen to the word, study the gospel more diligently and seek to love my family friends clients and coworkers as Jesus loves them and loves me. Thank you Jesus also, for the tools from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Through their website I can obtain more insight into the meanings that the Catholic Church has attached to sacred scriptures. I want to pray for all Christians to respond to the invitation to the feast. God our King has asked us to come. May we come with warm hearts. Let us not always chose, as the guests did, the business or the farm as our destination but rather chose the Kingdom of God! Yes we are invited!

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