A reflection on Matthew 22:1-14
28th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The King has prepared the wedding feast. The Son, the bridegroom, is ready to take His bride unto Himself, to give her everything that is His, all that belongs to Him. With this marriage, the two will become one. A part of her that was as of yet incomplete will be whole. All the cravings of her heart will be satisfied, and even all her tears will be wiped away (Isaiah 25:8). The moment of union will be one of pure ecstasy for all who witness it.
Yet some will not come, and the King’s heart breaks. He tries again, not willing to give up on those he has invited to the feast: “Tell those invited, behold, I have prepared my banquet…everything is ready; come to the feast.” Oh, child, if you could but see what I have prepared for you! It is good. It is beautiful. If you would only come, you would see. You don’t have to prepare anything, I have already prepared it all. Only come. Come and partake; come and witness the marriage of my Son.
Still, they will not. Worse yet, they despise the invitation, treating the messengers cruelly, even killing them. And the King grieves. Those whom He loved first want nothing to do with Him. They no longer want His protection, and thus will no longer have it. The city is destroyed.
But the wedding feast is still prepared. The King is generous. There must be witnesses to His Son’s union. So, with no partiality, He extends the invitation beyond those first called: to the bad and the good, anyone may come.
And many do. The hall was filled with guests.
But there is one who has come without a wedding garment. One who received the gift of the King’s invitation, but did not value the feast enough to throw off the old and don the new (Ephesians 4:22-24). And this one cannot stay.
The King has set the feast before us. He longs for our presence. Will we accept the invitation? Will we see it for the generous, undeserved gift that it is, understanding the value and importance of the feast? Will we put off the old self and put on the new, pure wedding garment washed clean in the blood of Jesus?
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)