For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101517.cfm
R.S.V.P. Re’pondez s’il vous plait. This seems like such a simple request. And yet, so often it is ignored. Certainly this indicates a lack of social grace. In our Gospel parable today, however, the people were guilty of more than just a lack of social graces when they ignored the invitation to the wedding feast. We are told that they not only “refused to come to the feast,” but in some cases “laid hold of and mistreated the King’s servants and even killed them.” What kind of people would do this?
Well, I suspect they were not all that much different than us. They were people who had become so self-absorbed that they couldn’t recognize the gift/invitation that was being offered to them. The anger of the King seems exaggerated (possibly to underline the irretrievability of the invitees decision not to come to the banquet). It is tempered, though by his largess and generosity in sending his servants out to invite to the feast whomever they could find. This reminds us that no one is beyond the reach and embrace of our God’s love.
But what about the person who was ejected because he didn’t wear a wedding garment. Well, since many times guests would come from a distance over dirty and dusty roads, the host often provided an opportunity for them to clean up, as well as a fresh garment for them to wear. The guest’s refusal to comply with this custom went beyond rudeness and would have been insulting to the host. The message in this is clear. It’s not enough just to show up. Something more is required.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Looking back can you see where you have failed to respond or even rejected an invitation from God?
- Have there been times when you’ve just shown up in response to God’s invitation, without doing anything else?
- In our second reading Paul talks about living in widely divergent circumstances. He then says: “I can do all things in him who strengthen me.” Can you think of a time when you were strengthened to do something that initially you didn’t think you could do?