Epistle: Ephesians 4. 23-28; Gospel: St. Matthew 22. 1-14
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our response as we hear Christ's parable of the king and the wedding
feast is one of consternation. How can it be that anyone would refuse the
king's invitation to his wedding banquet? What possible reason could there
be for spurning such a condescension?
The kingdom of God is infinitely greater than even the greatest of wedding
banquets. And yet our King's invitations are rejected every time his Apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are rejected. "He who hears
you, hears me." Christ sends these and so many others to invite us to share
in Redemption now so that the heavenly wedding banquet of the Lamb may
be ours when we die. If we should decide now that we truly desire the Kingdom,
that we will follow the truths taught by Christ's Vicar, our Holy Father,
and all those in union with him, then Christ makes clear, we will not succeed
unless we give all by embracing the whole truth.
Jesus' invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables,
a characteristic feature of his teaching. (Cf. Mk 4:33-34) Through his
parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also asks
for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything. (Cf.
Mt 13:44-45; 22:1-14) Words are not enough; deeds are required. (Cf. Mt
21:28-32) The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or
good earth for the word? (Cf. Mt 13:3-9) What use has he made of the talents
he has received? (Cf. Mt 25:14-30) Jesus and the presence of the kingdom
in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter
the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to know the
secrets of the kingdom of heaven"(Mt 13:11) For those who stay outside
everything remains enigmatic. (Mk 4:11; cf. Mt 13:10-15) (CCC 546)
All or nothing. Christianity is not a compromise, it is a relationship
of love. Can we say that we love the Lord, that he is truly "Lord", if
we hold back any thing from him? Divine love is demanding, but the infinite
joy and happiness of the reward of the kingdom is the "pearl of great price"
for which we must pay with nothing less than all that we have to give.
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy"---Father Cusick
(See also CCC 796.)
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.