Saturday, October 11, 2008



Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priest 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 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 their 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, good and bad 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. (Mt 22 1-11)

God has a master plan – a plan of eternal happiness for all. He wants to gather
into one single family, under His fatherly love, all those He has created in His image. Such a universal gathering in happiness is often symbolized by a banquet.

It will be the completion of His Kingdom in which death will be no more and the tears of the present suffering will be wiped away for ever. (See Is 25:8 and Rv 21:4.) That final grand celebration is preceded by a period of preparation – the period of the Kingdom-in-the-making, the period of the Church.

All are invited to be part of it as guests in a banquet tendered by God in honor of His Son. (See today’s Gospel passage.) We admire the generous King of the parable: he who sends his messengers to solicit the selected guests to come – a personalized invitation, repeated twice with gentle insistence.

But it seems that the privileged guests could not care less. Their indifference and untoward behavior shocks and saddens us. And we feel no pity for them when we learn of the harsh punishment inflicted on them by the King.

This allegory symbolizes the response of the Chosen People to God’s invitation to welcome and honor the Messiah. It symbolizes also the response of all mankind. God is always generous and kind. Men are often ungrateful and arrogant, unmindful of the numberless blessings they have received from the Lord, and of what really matters in life.

The Parable of today’s Gospel forces us to pause, reflect, ask and answer some questions:

• How have we responded, so far, to the Lord’s invitation to honor His Son?

• Are we like the invited guests who had other priorities? (See Mt 22:5.)

• Or are we among those who are physically inside the banquet hall (the Church), but behave in a way that is a real insult to the Divine Host and a scandal for our co-guests? (See Mt 22:11.)

Membership in the Kingdom is always an undeserved gift. What is expected of us now is that we show our humble appreciation for it by living up to the dignity that God’s love has bestowed upon us.

EUCHALETTE 12 October 2008
Word and Life Publications
MCPO Box 1820, Makati City 1258, Philippines