Today’s Gospel tells the story of a King who invites people to a wedding for his son.
But nobody comes.
So he sends servants to invite them again. Not only do people not come this time, but some kill the servants.
Then a final effort is made to have this party and they invite anyone they could find. One however, who does show is not properly dress and is dismissed from the proceedings.
What to make of this? The lesson of today’s gospel is a simple one.
God’s invitation to us is really all we need, but instead we often choose other agenda’s. I’m not merely talking about God’s invitation for us to come to mass, but that’s a good place to start and the Pew Research Team tells us that only 36% of adult Catholics under 65 accept that weekly invitation. I know how much clarity accepting that invitation gives me each week. I often wonder why people stay away, but then I realize that it is those of us who are churchgoers who often do a good job of keeping people away. After all, how many people did I invite to mass this week? Perhaps those servants who invited the people to the feast weren’t very convincing that this party was going to be rockin’? And perhaps we are like those same servants from time to time–giving a half-hearted invitation without truly embracing the inviting assignment?
And perhaps like those servants, the failure to invite well, will also lead us to our death.
You see, God really does provide all that we need. Paul tells us that in wealth or in poverty, God can provide for us always. And those of us who know just how great it can be in letting God provide for us and guide our lives are often too muted in our enthusiasm for what God has done. We leave Mass and horde God for ourselves and live lives as anonymous Christians.
That guy who isn’t properly dressed: That’s me. There are days that I go through the motions at mass and don’t look around at all that God has provided for me, a feast that should indeed make me shout “Alleluia.” Even when we are a bit more contemplative in our spirituality, does our outer demeanor show that we have indeed be changed by our relationship with Jesus?
I think we all know people like that. People who leave that feast changed by what has gone on here–changed by God’s mercy and love.
And they just can’t wait to spread the news of that joy.
Each day that I am silent, I let others believe that God isn’t quite enough for me. I don’t appreciate that invitation and therefore I don’t invite others well. And maybe those that do accept my weak invitation aren’t as well prepared for that feast, mistaking God for something less than He is: A cheap fix or a quick boost of nutrition instead of a feast that never makes you hunger again.
We are the church. Each one of us has the power to show others that our lives have been changed not by our jobs, our wealth or our education. No, we have been changed by God, by the gift of His son–a gift that keeps on giving and that in our weakness we need to be reminded about at least once a week. Can we sustain that joy and live lives of gratitude and enthusiasm for God for the next six days until we return for a reminder of God’s joy once again?
I’d like to think that we can. I’d like to think that I can. And it is with that great joy that I hope that you can…
Come on in where the table is spread…and the feast of Lord is going on.