October 11, 2020
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Isaiah 25:6-10a; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22:1-14
A king plans a wedding feast. He invites his friends. Many ignore the invitation and refuse to come. In response the king invites anyone he finds, the good and even the bad because he wants his banquet hall filled. One of those brought in at the last minute is not wearing the proper wedding garment, and the king, after asking him “why?” and receiving no answer from him, throws him out. This does not seem to have the makings of a great story. But
Jesus knows what to do with these elements, and uses them to teach, to inspire, and to change us. Jesus, in this parable from St. Matthew’s Gospel, shows that God wants us to be part of His life so much that he will go out and find us, even when we least expect, and invite us to His banquet. Some may refuse because acceptance means that we accept God as the most important thing in our life. Some may refuse because it is inconvenient. Some may refuse because they have found themselves in a life of sin which blinds them to the beauty of God’s invitation. But the fact still remains: God wants us, and our lives only make sense when we let God in. But Jesus also throws a surprise into this parable, as He often does. After working so hard to get people into the feast, the king throws out a man who is not dressed in the correct garment. This at first seems cruel, as if the man was invited but then tossed out because of a technicality. But what Jesus wants us to know is that who we are and how we act matters. The ‘garment’ is a symbol for our lives here on earth: if we accept the invitation, then we are to behave as God’s children, and come to him with hearts of love and faith. The man without the garment, in the end, chooses to be thrown out of the feast because he refuses to change. He does not even respond to the king’s gentle question about why he is not properly attired [the king even calls him “my friend”]. Remember: God calls us his friends time and time again. How do we respond? Are we willing to change? Do we want to be part of His feast? The answers to these questions make a profound difference in our lives.