St John's Q&A

Monday, October 10, 2005

A special wedding invitation

Most people accept invitations to weddings, and look forward to going. Some are not able to go, of course; but, it's pretty uncommon for most people to reject an invitation to a particular wedding. In the parable from yesterday's Gospel (Mt 22:1-14), those who were invited by the king to his son's wedding feast rejected the invite. Why is it that "the invited guests...refused to come (to the wedding feast)"? "Some ignored the invitation and went away".

Why would so many ignore the invitation and go away? What would be the possible reasons for the guests to do this to the king? Maybe they are afraid of him. He might be very good to them, and they have not been very good to him. They would fear seeing him because he might get angry at them. That doesn't make much sense, though, because he wants them to be a part of such a grand celebration (his son's wedding).

If we apply this parable to the Mass (Heaven on Earth), we might ask the same questions. Why do so many Catholics reject the Father's invitation to this feast every Sunday? First, do they see it as an invitation? If so, do they skip Mass because of guilt? Is it just laziness (the parable gives no indication that the guests just don't feel like going)? Or, is it fear? As in the parable, it makes no sense that people would be afraid to see God at Mass because He might get angry at them.

This is a feast of the grandest proportions, people! Our King wants each of us to share in the joy of His Son's banquet! He knows that we are all sinners and have been unfaithful to Him. We might be like the second group of guests that the king invites: "good and bad alike". Whoever we are, God has called us to His table. We are called "blessed" by the author of the Book of Revelation (from which many of the chants at Mass are taken): "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb" (19:9). The Father rejoices when we come to the feast of the Lamb, and share in the Body and Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.


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