WEEK TWENTY – THURSDAY – AUGUST 19, 2021 – THE INVITED GUESTS (MT 22:1-14)

Prayer:

O Jesus, may I always respond to your invitations. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus confronting his enemies. 

Context:

The time is Holy Week. In the days before his capture, Jesus confronts his opponents in Jerusalem. In this parable, the invited guests are the Jerusalem leaders who refuse to come, even when the servants invite them a second time. The banquet is filled but those initially invited are excluded.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus spoke to the chief priests and elders by using parables. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a king who had a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to call the invited but they would not come. He sent other servants who said, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner. My bullocks and cattle are killed. All is ready. Come to the feast.” 

But some ignored the invitation and went on their way, to their farm or to their business. Others insulted the servants and killed them. When the king heard this, he was angry and sent his army to destroy those murderers and burn their city. 

Then he said to his servants, “The banquet is ready but those invited to come are not worthy. Go into the byroads and invite to the wedding whomever you might find.” The servants went into the byroads and drew in all whom they found, the bad as well as the good. This filled the wedding hall with banqueters. 

When the king came in to greet the guests, he saw a man not properly dressed for the wedding. He said, “My friend, how is it that you came not properly dressed?” The man had nothing to say. The king said, “Put him out into the night. The invited are many. The elect are few.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The invited guests were the Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus’ invitation to the Kingdom. 
  2. The King destroying their city (Jerusalem) is the Roman army (70 A.D.) 
  3. The leader’s rejection opens the banquet to the whole world. 
  4. God uses every possible means to bring people into his banquet. 
  5. The owner is like God who wants his churches filled with believers. 
  6. The man without a wedding garment is a baptized person who does not keep God’s commandments. 
  7. All are freely invited but they must clothe themselves in virtue. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how many invitations you give me. 
  • I will set aside everything else. Nothing will come before your Kingdom. 
  • O Jesus, you invite all. You want heaven to be filled to overflowing. I will be there with you. 
  • O Jesus, thank you for my Catholic faith, which invites me to your Kingdom. 
  • Only one thing do I fear – that I would miss out on the banquet of heaven. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will listen carefully today to God’s many invitations in my heart and through others. 

+ I will thank God for my Catholic faith. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

They went everywhere to fill the wedding hall with banqueters.