Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Your name is on God’s invitation list
Based on Is 25:6-10a; Phil 4:12-14, 19-20; Mt 22: 1-14
In Jesus’ time, servants or messengers delivered invitations for important banquets like weddings. Anyone invited was expected to attend and to dress in formal clothes.
To refuse the invitation was considered an insult. To make matters worse, in this Sunday’s Gospel, the guests invited by the king not only refused the invitation because of other things to do, but also mistreated and even killed the messengers. The king sent his army to destroy the murderers and burn their city.
The angry king said to his servants, “These people who were invited did not deserve to share in the feast. Go out and invite everyone you meet.”
Soon the hall was filled with people and all had a great time.
As the king met the guests, he noticed one man wasn’t dressed for the celebration. The king had the man thrown out. The man had accepted the king’s invitation, but didn’t make an effort to dress properly.
Jesus used this parable to remind us God has invited us to the “wedding feast” of the kingdom of heaven. God invites but does not force us to accept his friendship or heaven. The freedom of choice is ours.
We were provided with the proper “wedding garment” on our baptismal day when we were given our new life of faith.
Jesus invites us to love God and to share that love with others, and to come each Sunday to God’s earthly “wedding feast” – the Mass. We hear his Word in Scripture and receive his Body and Blood in holy Communion. We also have the sacrament of reconciliation to keep our “wedding garment” spotless. Living our life of faith, with the help of God’s grace, we can then be part of God’s heavenly banquet at the end of time.
Some people don’t pay attention to Jesus’ gracious invitation. They make excuses. That’s sad because they miss out on God’s gifts of love, grace, joy, peace and a heavenly reward.
God’s invitation list has your name on it. Will you say “yes” to follow Jesus?