Memorial of Saint Bernard

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, 

The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.

— Matthew 22:1-14

The peace of the Lord be with you. The people God chose to reveal himself to first were the Jewish people. They were to be a people so prosperous and wise that they would attract others (all people) to God’s way of life. Given they, like us, struggle to remain focused on God’s teaching this did not happen and instead of a unified nation under God the twelve tribes became scattered. Sound familiar?

God never gives up on us, so in the fullness of time, Jesus comes to call back those twelve tribes, but like the wedding story today, most refused the invitation. Through the 12 apostles, the death and resurrection of Jesus (we) the Gentiles were called to be adopted children of God. In the parable today Jesus reminds us as God’s children we must properly clothe ourselves in the ways this family works. This does not happen naturally or through diffusion, but by learning God’s ways, which in turn allow grace to flow into our lives. That does not mean we are called to stand in judgement of others; rather, we are called to become that wise and prosperous people who, though our lives, show how desirable it is to live in union with God. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, August 20, 2020