Jesus tells us a parable about a wedding feast. A series of invited guests chose not to accept their invitation. This was a great insult to the king. So he invites anyone who was on the street to fill the hall.

Those who mistreated the messengers of the king are destroyed by the king’s army.

Jesus speaks this in the days before Holy Week, where He would greatly suffer and be crucified. The lesson of the parable is very clear.

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God is the king who wants His people to come to His banquet, which in the meaning of the Bible, is an invitation to the Kingdom of God in heaven. God shows His very generous love for His people by preparing only the best for them, but there are people who choose not to come, and amongst these are those who pay God lip service, or just ignore Him, or even work against Him. There are consequences for this type of behaviour. The evil doers will be punished! It is not a message some modern Christians want to hear but there will be a Judgement Day.

It is not only what happened to Jesus in Holy Week. The mistreatment of the prophets in the Bible show us that people have mistreated God’s messengers for a long time, and they still do today.

The invitation to Heaven is for everyone. That’s why God’s servants invite anyone they could find on the streets, the good and the bad. It is not a call to the wise, or the learned, nor to the self-righteous, but to anyone who would come. Jesus comes into the world to save those who are lost, not just those who keep the law. God invites everyone. It is important to note that the invitation is there so that we can escape from sin and the bondage of this world. It is a call to a better life prepared for us by God in heaven.

It is not negative to talk about these realities. In the bible, God often speaks about the consequence of not accepting of the invitation to His marriage banquet. We would be very wise to accept the invitation.

But there is a warning here as well. Those who refuse to accept to come to God’s banquet, for example, are those who are against Christ, or those who pretend to be in Christ, but will not have any part in God’s plan will be, “Cast out into the outer darkness.”

The message of the Gospel is good news, but it is only good news if it delivers us from the darkness or God’s final judgement.

The Gospel tells us that there is no reason at all for God’s people to reject His invitation.

People reject it if they do not believe in God, and do not want to commit to Him. Ignoring God and not accepting His invitation creates chaos and brings destruction.

The parable tells us also about the need of the invited guests to put on the “wedding garment” which God gives us.

Bible scholars tell us of the “garment” is kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and most of all His love. We come to God as we are, but God changes us through His Holy Spirit. We are changed by God’s grace to us. Sinners are forgiven, lives are changed.

Jesus wants us to think and to pray about the direction of our lives if we need to.

It is not negative to talk about these realities. In the bible, God often speaks about the consequence of not accepting of the invitation to His marriage banquet. We would be very wise to accept the invitation.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”