O Lord, I stand under your Word today. Isaiah engages my longing for your holy mountain and sets my palate to savor your rich food and aged wine. But when I come to your parable in Matthew and the Wedding Feast I am perplexed.
There is great joy in the king preparing and announcing a banquet celebration for his son. The refusal of the invited guests is shocking. The king issues the invitation again and even describes the preparation, with “everything ready; come to the feast.” Multiple excuses flow and are relayed to him. The king is enraged. A third time he sends his servants out: go and invite anyone you can find to come to the feast. The banquet hall is filled with guests from the highways and by-ways, both elite and the poor.
Strangely, then, the king sees a person without a wedding garment! He is angered. Who would come to a wedding celebration unprepared? Is this the last straw for the king with a series of refusals and excuses or the complacency and ungraciousness of those invited? The guest without the wedding garment utters not a word of explanation for his appearance.
What meaning in the text shall we await from the Spirit? The last sentence adds to the perplexity. “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
Light can shine forth from many texts footnoted in the New Testament: Exodus, the chosen nation; Hosea, the jealousy of God; being called and loved deeply. The Kingdom of God , the Church, is made of saints and sinners. Being chosen at the end is not automatic; there is a final sifting and judgment. It is urgent to make faithful response to the free invitation of our God. In particular, 2 Cor. 6:2.
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