Fr. Rowel Jose (Arjay) Abanto
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet tells the story of a king’s desire to celebrate the marriage of his son with a feast. The king sends out his messengers to summon guests to the banquet. Those invited refuse to come, thus insulting the king. The king is patient with the guests, and sends a second reminder but again, those invited spurn the invitation, maltreating and killing the servants. This angers the king who then destroys them. Since the banquet is set, the king then sends out his messengers to invite anyone whom they can find.
What is the point the Evangelist is trying to make through this parable?
First, that salvation is centred in Christ – it is always God who offers salvation. We cannot do anything to start the process, faith is always a gift, and it is through our faith that we are invited, as it were, to a royal banquet. Secondly, the parable reminds us that God is patient, and does not give up on us. God can call us through His word, and through prayer. He can call us through the preaching, teaching, and witnessing of others. He can call us through the least expected of people. It is important is to heed his call when it comes, without making excuses. God sent his only son, and even when he was rejected and killed, God did not abandon His people. God’s response to man’s infidelity and ingratitude is unconditional love!
God absolutely loves us – saints and sinners alike.
Let us approach Him and respond enthusiastically to His call, and be with Him always. Everyone, regardless of their past, receives the same invitation to sit at God’s table. Yet once the invitation is accepted, we cannot take things for granted. There is no room for complacency. The Eucharist is the wedding banquet on earth. Jesus Christ is truly present, in body and blood, in soul and in divinity, in the sacramental bread.
Do we believe, and are we prepared to receive the Lord?
Let us pray that we keep our wedding garments pure and spotless, and that we become disciples who genuinely hear and faithfully abide by the teachings of Jesus. Let us pray for a deeper faith and love, and for a spirit of service and sense of responsibility to our community.
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam! For the greater glory of God!