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Reflection by Holly Novotny
Today's Gospel: Matthew 22:1-4 - Memorial of St. Bernard
This king, inviting many to the wedding feast of his son, seems to lack mercy when those invited do not respond as he wishes. His reactions appear harsh and retaliatory to our perspective. In the past, I have never really liked this passage, questioning the king’s mercy and even Jesus’ point in telling this story. What if the man was poor? What if he was homeless? Is the king acting justly in ejecting him, bound, into the dark?
This parable can seem to convey a wrathful God, but if we look to those who have been called, but ultimately not chosen, we can see a different story. The King summons each of us to the wedding feast, we only have to respond. I think, though, what Jesus is saying is that we have a responsibility to prepare for the feast. A wedding guest should present herself ready to honor the marriage and the couple, in her best dress, often with gift in hand. Extravagance is not the aim, though we ought to generously give out of gratitude for all God’s gifts to us, but thoughtfulness and intention. We must prepare for the feast by engaging in the purifying work of our own sanctification, through the sacraments and a life of prayer; and responding to intimacy in humility and love, we must serve one another generously.
The life of a Christian requires loving sacrifice and a prompt “Yes!” to the invitations of the Lord, which is precisely why “many are called, but few are chosen.”
Am I willing to engage in the purifying work that Jesus wants to do in my heart?
Lord, give me the grace to accept Your invitation and give generously of myself, that I would be welcomed at Your eternal banquet.
Copyright 2020 Holly Novotny
Holly Novotny is a wife and mother of two young adult daughters. The Lord’s mercy and grace continue to transform her into His original plan, much to her astonishment and joy. She is a Lifetime Marian Servant and as a graduate of the Cenacle School of Spirituality offers spiritual direction in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (Podcast)
About the Author
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