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To: All

From: Matthew 22:1-14

The Parable of the Marriage Feast


[1] And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, [2] “The kingdom of hea-
ven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, [3] and
sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they
would not come. [4] Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are in-
vited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’ [5] But they made light of it
and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, [6] while the rest seized
his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. [7] The king was angry,
and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. [8]
Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not
worthy. [9] Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as
many as you find.’ [10] And those servants went out into the streets
and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding
hall was filled with guests.

[11] “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who
had no wedding garment; [12] and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here
without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. [13] Then the king said to
the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness;
there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ [14] For many are called, but few are
chosen.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-14. In this parable Jesus reveals how intensely God the Father desires the
salvation of all men—the banquet is the Kingdom of heaven —and the mysterious
malice that lies in willingly rejecting the invitation to attend, a malice so vicious
that it merits eternal punishment. No human arguments make any sense that go
against God’s call to conversion and acceptance of faith and its consequences.

The Fathers see in the first invitees the Jewish people: in salvation history God
addresses himself first to the Israelites and then to all the Gentiles (Acts 13:46).

Indifference and hostility cause the Israelites to reject God’s loving call and there-
fore to suffer condemnation. But the Gentiles also need to respond faithfully to
the call they have received; otherwise they will suffer the fate of being cast “into
outer darkness”.

“The marriage”, says St Gregory the Great (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 36) “is the
wedding of Christ and his Church, and the garment is the virtue of charity: a per-
son who goes into the feast without a wedding garment is someone who believes
in the Church but does not have charity.”

The wedding garment signifies the dispositions a person needs for entering the
Kingdom of heaven. Even though he belongs to the Church, if he does not have
these dispositions he will be condemned on the day when God judges all man-
kind. These dispositions essentially mean responding to grace.

13. The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the doctrine of the “last things”,
one aspect of which is covered in this verse. Referring to the eschatological di-
mension of the Church, the Council recalls our Lord’s warning about being on the
watch against the wiles of the devil, in order to resist in the evil day (cf. Eph 6:13).
“Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the
Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is
completed (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast
and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Mt 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked
and slothful servants (cf. Mt 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal fire (cf.
Mt 25:41), into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth’”
(”Lumen Gentium”, 48).

14. These words in no way conflict with God’s will that all should be saved (cf. 1
Tim 2:4). In his love for men, Christ patiently seeks the conversion of every single
soul, going as far as to die on the cross (cf. Mt 23:37; Lk 15:4-7). St Paul teaches
this when he says that Christ loved us and “gave himself up for us, a fragrant
offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2). Each of us can assert with the Apostle
that Christ “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). However, God in his in-
finite wisdom respects man’s freedom: man is free to reject grace (cf. Mt 7:13-14).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


8 posted on 10/11/2008 11:01:09 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Isaiah 25:6 - 10 ©
On this mountain,
the Lord of Hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.
On this mountain he will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations,
he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame
everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God
in whom we hoped for salvation;
the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us;
for the hand of the Lord
rests on this mountain.
Psalm or canticle Psalm 22 (23)
The good shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.
He has taken me to green pastures,
 he has led me to still waters;
 he has healed my spirit.
He has led me along right paths
 for his own name’s sake.

Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
 I shall fear no evil, for you are with me:
 your rod and your staff give me comfort.

You have set a table before me
 in the sight of my enemies.
You have anointed my head with oil,
 and my cup overflows.

Truly goodness and kindness will follow me
 all the days of my life.
For long years I shall live
 in the house of the Lord.
Second reading Philippians 4:12 - 20 ©
I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can. Glory to God, our Father, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Matthew 22:1 - 14 ©
Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

9 posted on 10/11/2008 11:04:51 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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