This is our God for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:9
Saving and healing God, you have promised that those who have died with Christ shall live with him: grant us grace to be continually thankful for all you have done for us, and in that thankfulness to be eager to serve and live for others, so that we and all your children may rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
- Exodus 32:1-14
- Psalm 106:1-6, 20-24
- Philippians 4
- Matthew 22:1-14
- Next week:
- Exodus 33:12-23
- Psalm 99
- 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
- Matthew 22:15-33
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 20 – Matthew 22:1-14
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son: ‘Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast … Go into the main roads and invite whomever you find …” “When the king came to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But the man 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.”
Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast is another illustration of Israel’s rejection of God’s promise. The invitation is therefore extended to everyone – Gentiles, foreigners and those who do not know God – to come to the Lord’s table. (Matthew’s readers would see the “destruction of those murderers” and the “burning of their city” as references to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.)
Jesus tells a second parable within the parable of the wedding feast. The wedding garment is the conversion of heart and mind required for entry into the kingdom. The Christian who does not wear this mantle of repentance and good deeds will suffer the same fate as those who reject outright the invitation to the wedding. As the apostle Paul writes (Romans 13: 14), we must “put on” the garment of Christ.
God has invited each of us to his Son’s wedding feast: the fullness of God’s life in the resurrection. The only obstacle is our inability to hear his invitation amid the noisy activity that consumes our time and attention.
God invites all his children to his table – distinctions drawn according to economic class or influence, discrimination by race or origin, reservations due to mental or physical ability disappear at the banquet of the Father. In order to be able to take our own place at God’s table, we must first realise God’s vision for the human family at our own tables.
The parables of the king’s wedding feast and wedding garment confront us with the reality that we cannot be Christian without conversion; we cannot come to the feast of heaven while remaining indifferent to the empty plates before so many of the world’s children; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we cannot love those we can see.
The wedding garment of today’s Gospel is the garment of good works we make for ourselves for the Lord’s banquet: the garment sewn of repentance, joyful expectation and humble service to others.
You can read the Pew Sheet here