Thursday 20 August 2020

Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 22:1-14

What's missing?

What is missing in the King’s invitation to make it attractive to the guests? Given the reluctance of the invited to respond, something must be missing or wrong. Is it a sad invitation? No, it is a wedding invitation, an invitation to the Son's glorious feast. Was the invitation unclear? No, it was proclaimed in many ways and through numerous voices. Perhaps it is an invitation for an event where no one expected to have any fun?  No, it is an invitation to a gigantic, huge, wonderful banquet. Was the party badly organized? No, the party was without doubt organized divinely and everything was ready, the various kinds of meat were already cooking on the fire, the meal can only be defined as fabulous. So what was missing in the King’s invitation making the favored guests look the other way or to even go to work in the fields or take care of business rather than to go? What was so violent and disrespectful in the King's invitation that the bearers of the invitation were insulted, beaten, killed? What was missing in the King’s invitation causing so much indifference or  violence? Only one thing is missing, but if that thing is missing it makes everything uncertain, messy, dangerous and unpredictable. The King’s invitation lacks obligation, an injunction is lacking. The invitation of the King is free, absolutely free and liberating. This is what makes the invitation  suspicious or envious envy for some and the object of lust for others. It is the freedom that makes the invitation unattractive in the eyes of the guests, the same freedom that triggers our efforts to possess and to control, as well as to hold on to things. And even when the violent reaction of humanity to the Lord of Life's invitation is placated in blood and fire by the forces of nature itself - in the parable called the troops of the King - even then, with the room full of other guests, the weight of freedom is still evident. The invited guest not wearing the wedding garment represents those who answer the call of life without appreciating the power and freedom of that divine call
Brother, whatever  group of guests you belong to, if you have been invited, do not forget your party dress, not out of fear, but to honor, with your smile and your appreciation of the solemnity, the glory of life and the name of the Lord of life.