Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 22,1-14.
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying,
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘
Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Life is a celebration.
- Celebrate. The greatest joy for a parent is to see their son or daughter fulfil their goals in life and in the gospel today we see a father who wants to celebrate what’s happening in his family, his son’s wedding, with the community. And that’s what joy and happiness are like – true happiness is shared, celebrations are shared. One can’t celebrate on one’s own – a celebration is communal, not solitary. To have a party, you have to invite people, play music and so on, because it is an event that you share with others, if not, it would be boring.
- The Guests. But in the Gospel, we see the situation of the guests who have been invited. They are arrogant and this man has to beg them to accept the invitation. But they make up excuses. In this sense, there are people who are invited to live their life in God, and make their life a celebration, but they make excuses. They fall into being self-righteous, considering themselves too important. Their lives continuously flip from one thing to another, paying attention to nothing much and they don’t get anything concrete done. Their life is led by arrogance, self-pride, haughtiness… Check if you’re living your life like this.
- Charity. And finally, what the Gospel also shows us is the true clothing – charity, like St Augustine used to teach. Charity is what makes us enter the celebration of Life, what leads us to dedication, to the disinterested service to others… Charity is what shows God’s spirit in you and what brings you close to your brothers and sisters, and above all it leads you to live your life differently. I remember a lady who was suffering from depression and we started working together. One of the first things we decided is that every Saturday she would visit babies at the children’s hospital. It was surprising how her life changed. When you realize that other people’s problems are greater than yours and when you try to help them out, you start seeing life differently. Soon, this lady was comforting children and their parents. This lady, who was so depressed started to see life in a different way and encouraged others to do that, too. Because when you serve others with love, your life changes and you help others to change theirs. That’s why I encourage you to practice charity, so that many who are flipping through their life, can change and achieve beautiful things life offers, because life is a celebration. Don’t be self-sufficient and arrogant, don’t let that happen to you! Don’t make up excuses in life.
God bless you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Don’t forget: Heaven is Our Goal!