Ezekiel 36:23-28, Ps. 51:12-15,18-19, Matthew 22:1-14

“Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness.” (Matthew 22:12-13)

Turning down an invitation without any reason is a sign of irresponsibility. To go as far as beating up and even killing the person who brought the invitation card is a call for war. What kind of guests would hear “Come and eat” and still refuse to show up? This is very strange! Yet it is a reflection of today’s Christians.

By not living according to the mind of God, we turn down His generous invitation. When we allow sin to fester in our lives for whatever excuse, we are like the guests who gave various reasons for their refusal to attend the party. We prove to God that these excuses are more important than our love for Him.

When we maltreat those who tell us the truth and call us to repentance, (just like Herod who killed John the Baptist), we are like the guests in Jesus’ parable who killed the servants of the Master just because they brought invitation cards.

When those invited did not show up, the master extended the invitation to everyone. The common lie we tell ourselves is: “People are bad but I am not that bad.” This was how the Jews felt when Jesus told them: “In truth, I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31). Even the prophet Ezekiel in our first reading today testifies that God will gather people from all nations.

The man who came in without a wedding garment symbolizes Christians who take God for granted; Christians who abuse the sacrament of penance; Christians who do not believe that God has a say with what they do with their bodies; Christians who are wolves in sheep clothing; Christians who try to eat their cake and still have it at the same time. 

Salvation is free but it is not cheap. Faith without works is dead. If you say you love God, then let your love inspire your good works; put on your wedding garment – behave like someone who is preparing to spend forever in God’s presence.

Let us pray: Our Father in heaven, at the end of my life, may I be worthy of your divine banquet. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Please pray for me. Today 18 August 2022, I am exactly ten years a priest

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 20 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ezekiel 36:23-28, Ps. 51:12-15,18-19, Matthew 22:1-14).

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu