Israel, chosen from among the nations of the earth, was the first to be invited by God to the banquet, but the people ignored the invitation brought by the prophets. In the First Reading, Ezekiel laments Israel’s profanation of God’s name by the people’s evil ways while living among the Gentiles. In the Gospel, Jesus alludes to the religious leaders of Israel — the chief priests and Pharisees — as the ones who reject God’s invitation. Because of their indifference and lack of interest, they miss out the banquet which is open to all, as Jesus welcomes all — the just and the sinners, the Jews and the Gentiles, the bad and the good alike. Jesus has a different standard in selecting those invited to the divine banquet — not self-righteousness, but humbly acknowledging that they are sinners.
Gospel • Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus spoke to the chief priests and the Pharisees 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.”
Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.