28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 11/10/2020 - Gospel: Mt 22: 1-10
Wedding Garment
The parable is a story of a king, who invited his friends to his son's wedding. The king received negative responses from his friends. In his second attempt the king sent his trusted servants; this time in person, to persuade his friends to come, but they failed to appreciate the king's kindness. Excuses were made, ranging from family matters to personal business. Some even assaulted and violated the king's servants. Tension arose and intensified. It was all started by the king's friends. Friends became foes and rebels. Placing personal business over a friend's wedding would severely damage the friendship. Turning down a royal wedding invitation is a sign of disrespect for the king. It showed having have little love for the royal family. The king was upset about the refusal to attend his son's wedding, and even more displeased about the murders of his trusted servants. What they sowed they would harvest. The king sent his troops to punished the murderers. The murderers were themselves slain. Nothing could stop the king. He determined the wedding banquet should go ahead, no matter what. Because the invitees proved unworthy, the king looked to the wider community, the commoners. Servants were instructed to invite to the king son's wedding everyone on the roads, and they responded with warmth and excitement. The wedding hall was full.

Because of twists and turns it is rather hard to see the logic of the parable in the environment of any of our social settings. Jesus addressed the chief priests and the elders. There is no doubt, Jesus had a message for them to reflect upon. His message was to remind them of their disloyalty to the Lord, and their atrocity towards the prophets. Logic of the parable doesn't follow logic of the empirical world. Faith requires believing in God's love and mercy, and the language of the heart has rules of its own. The parable's setting is strange and some of its language is the language of the end time (v.13). 'The invitees' referred to the chosen race, the Israelites.  'King' is a metaphor for God; Servants who were abused and murdered were the prophets. Wedding banquet is a metaphor for the heavenly banquet, the divine banquet at the end time. The divine banquet is not food our physical body needs, but it is for our spiritual nourishment. It began here on earth, starting with Jesus' teaching, and culminates at the end time. The wedding garment refers to the Christian virtues,  rather than material garments or the moral behaviour. The king came to the banquet and noticed one man who didn't comply with the wedding garment. He was dragged out and condemned into darkness. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth( v.14). It is the language of the end time.

The final statement: 'For many are called, but few are chosen' (v.14)'. It looks like this statement is an independent statement, unrelated, to the rest of the parable. The statement certainly doesn't apply to the guest who was thrown into darkness. The statement probably refers to the first groups of invitees, the Israelites who through their history had shown disloyalty, infidelity and rebelliousness against God.  However, not all of them were unfaithful. There were some who were faithful; their faith was unwavering. Not all chosen guests responded negatively to the royal banquet; some of them attended, and the statement may refer to them, that many were invited but only a few chose to attend the royal wedding.

We give thanks to God for the divine banquet in this life and the divine banquet to come.