YOU’RE INVITED!

Isaiah 25:6-10,
Psalm 23,
Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20,
Matthew 22:1-14

Have you ever been snubbed? Expected an invite that just never arrived? Well, good news from today’s readings – we’re all invited to the biggest and best wedding feast ever…the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! I know that it’s common today for people not to bother to RSVP to invitations they receive, but the message today is – we all had better respond to this one!

ISAIAH

The first reading gives us a description of the lavish feast the Lord provides in his kingdom – “rich food and choice wines.” Death will be destroyed and tears wiped away. “This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us.” The Responsorial is Psalm 23, one of the most well-known and well-loved of all the psalms. Here too, it speaks of the Lord spreading a table before us – in view of our enemies, no less!

GOSPEL

The gospel also talks about the wedding feast. The invitees not only ignore the invitation but actually assault and even kill the messengers! “The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.” Therefore, the feast is now open to all. But guests are supposed to wear a wedding garment, which was apparently supplied free of charge. The deliberate choice not to wear one would be an act of stupidity, rebellion, disrespect, or all of the above! The bottom line is: “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” Admittance to the wedding banquet is free and the requirements are simple – but they must be met! The clear lesson for all of us is that we are called to the Lord’s kingdom feast in heaven, but we must enter wearing the wedding garment of God’s grace.

 PHILIPPIANS

 In today’s second reading, St. Paul says he knows how to be abased and how to abound. “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

What a word of truth and encouragement! Likewise the verse: “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Two of my personal favorites!) The reading ends with an outburst of praise: “To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.”

 DON’T NEGLECT THE INVITATION!

 God invites; we have to respond. This is the whole story of salvation history. Jesus came unto his own people but was not received by them. “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). The gospel of the kingdom is simple and stark: Accept the invitation of Jesus and enjoy his heavenly wedding feast; reject it and be cast “into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Let us accept, put on our wedding garment, and enter into the joy of the Lord! “Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.”

Al Mansfield