28th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 15, 2017
Today’s gospel (Mt 22: 1-14) presents us with somewhat of a paradox. How can it be that so many people turned down the king’s wedding invitation? Even if he wasn’t very well liked, you would think people would come just to keep their heads from being cut off! It promised to be a feast of wine and song and good food, a true royal banquet. How could so many people make excuses?
Obviously, these people did not know what they were passing up. Even worse, they didn’t realize the danger they were in by insulting the king. Apparently, the prospect of going to this wedding must have looked pretty awful at first glance! What lessons can we learn from this?
Jesus, of course, is speaking about the kingdom of heaven. It seems that the Lord, who is a great king, has invited everyone to his wedding. In fact, in Revelation we read of the Wedding of the Lamb. Jesus uses wedding imagery throughout his ministry, and if you look closely, the whole bible is filled with this symbolism with regard to the next life. The Mass is a banquet and sacrifice that prepares us for the eternal wedding banquet of heaven.
So what’s the problem? The invitation, from our perspective, can look impossibly far away (it isn’t!); for others, the invitation takes the form of a cross, so they reject it, not knowing what kind of door that cross/key will open! Some people do not want to wear clean garments to the wedding (i.e., they prefer to wear their sins instead of being in the company of Christ) and so are unable to enter. But those who recognize the invitation for what it is are in for quite a banquet indeed – one that will never end.