Today we hear the parable of the wedding feast. In it Jesus offers an image of the kingdom of heaven as a great banquet at a wedding, something which can no longer happen in our socially distancing times!!
In today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah and in today’s psalm, the Lord’s goodness is evident in the symbol of a feast of good food and wine. Jesus’ listeners would have been familiar with the image of a wedding feast as a symbol for God’s salvation. They would consider themselves to be the invited guests. Keeping this in mind helps us to understand the critique Jesus makes with this parable. The context for this parable is the growing tension between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
The parable Jesus tells is straightforward. The king dispatches his servants to invite the guests to the wedding feast that he is planning for his son. The listeners would have been surprised to learn that the first guests refused the invitation. Who would refuse the king’s invitation? A second dispatch of servants follows. Again, to the listeners’ great surprise, some guests ignore the invitation. Some of the invited guests even go so far as to mistreat and kill the servants.
With the invited guests now deemed unworthy to attend the king’s wedding feast, the servants are sent to invite whomever they can find. The guests arrive, but it appears that accepting the king’s invitation brings certain obligations. The guest who failed to dress in the appropriate wedding attire is cast out of the feast. We are reminded that while many are invited to the kingdom of heaven, not all are able to meet its requirements. God invites us to his feast, giving us his salvation. Yet he asks us to repent for our sins.
Jesus’ message in the parable cautions against exclusive beliefs about the kingdom of heaven. The parable also teaches about humility. Those who assume that they are the invited guests may find that they have refused the invitation, and so others are invited in their place. To accept the invitation is also to accept its obligations. God wants our full conversion in complete acceptance of his mercy.
Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.
This week’s newsletter can be found here.
Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday. We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, October 12th.