It’s wonderful how Scripture continues to provide new insights from passages we have heard so many times before. Today’s Gospel reading was from Matthew 22:1-14. To paraphrase: The ones that a king invited to a wedding banquet refused to come in favor of their worldly pursuits, so the king filled his hall with other guests, good and bad people that his servants gathered from the streets. However, one of the newly-invited guests came without a wedding garment, so he was cast out from the banquet. (We’ll get back to the outcast a little later.)
In his homily today, my parish priest made a comment that really struck me: The king (God the Father) loved his Son (Jesus) so much that he wanted his wedding party to be full. When I came home from Mass I reviewed the text. Sure enough, it read: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his Son…” [Emphasis added.] Somehow the fact that the wedding feast was for Jesus never registered with me before today. I was always too busy worrying whether I would be invited and whether I would be wearing the proper garment.
This led to another realization that was so comforting: God has chosen us to be the wedding gifts for his Most Beloved Son. We are the gifts.
Egocentric as we are, we tend to think of ourselves as giving ourselves to Christ when we accept him into our lives. But in truth, it is the Father who gives us to the Son, in spite of our imperfections and unworthiness.
Regarding the wedding garment that one guest in the parable was lacking, I have heard many theories regarding its meaning. Only God knows for sure, but it is clear that something, a certain amount of effort and/or preparation on our part is required.
Something to ponder.