Reflection: Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Is.25:6-10; Ps.22; 2nd Reading – Phil.4:12-14,19-20; Gospel – Mt.22:1-14]

‘BAD & GOOD ALIKE’

In today’s gospel, we find Jesus telling yet another parable, teaching us about the kingdom of heaven. Once again, Jesus is directing the parable to the chief priests and the elders of the people i.e. to those who, because of their scriptural background, should have no problem understanding Jesus’ teaching.

The scenario in the parable is that of a wedding feast. We are told that a king, whose son is getting married, sent his servants to call those who have already been invited i.e. those who already knew about the wedding because they would have already received the wedding invitation. But they were not interested in attending the wedding, even when they were specially called (the first time), “they would not come”. Then a second call was made, during which the king explained to the invitees what he had prepared for the wedding. But still, they were not interested and again ignored the invitation and continued with their normal daily life. What is more, they also “seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them”. Their response made the king so furious, that he destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Those who were originally invited proved themselves unworthy!

Since the wedding was still going ahead the king sent his servants to go to the streets and invite everyone they could find “bad and good alike”. But during the wedding feast the king noticed a man who was not wearing a wedding garment. When challenged, the man was unable to explain how he found himself at the wedding hall and so the king gave orders to his attendants to bind this man’s hand and foot and throw him into the dark.

Jesus concludes the gospel with an enigmatic phrase: “For many are called, but few are chosen”. In other words: there are those who were invited and called for the wedding but they refused to attend; there are also those who were called from the crossroads, in the midst of which there was this man who was not wearing a wedding garment. So the kingdom of heaven is open to everyone, God calls everyone, starting from those who already know him (i.e. the elders and the chief priests) to everyone else (i.e. the bad and the good alike). In turn those who are called must be ready to accept his invitation and wear the proper garment and therefore give evidence of who they are. Our faith is not just about adherence, but also about a conscious following.

“Lord, quite often you invite us to your banquets, be they wedding banquets or otherwise. You invite us because you want to share your experience with us. Help us to accept your invitation and to put on the right garment. Thank you Lord!”

 

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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