Challenged to respond to God’s generosity
Twenty-Eight Sunday of Year A (Matt 22:1-14)
October 15, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
GOD has a plan—a plan of happiness for all. He wants to gather into one single family, under His fatherly love, all those He has created in His image. Such a universal gathering in happiness is often symbolized by a banquet. It will be the completion of His Kingdom in which death will be no more and the tears of the present suffering will be wiped away for ever. (See Is 25:8 and Rv 21:4.)
That final grand celebration is preceded by a period of preparation—the period of the Kingdom-in-the-making, the period of the Church. All are invited to be part of it as guests in a banquet tendered by God in honor of His Son. (See today’s Gospel passage.)
We admire the generous King of the parable: he sends his messengers to solicit the selected guests to come—a personalized invitation, repeated twice with gentle insistence . . . .
But it seems that the privileged guests could not care less. Their behavior shocks and saddens us. Some reciprocate the King’s kindness with contempt, others with aggressiveness. And we feel no pity for them when we learn of the harsh punishment inflicted on them by the King.
This parable symbolizes the response of the Chosen People to God’s invitation to welcome and honor the Messiah . . . . It symbolizes also the response of all mankind. God is always generous and kind. Men are often ungrateful and arrogant, unmindful of the countless blessings they have received from the Lord, and of what really matters in life.
The parable of today’s Gospel forces us to ask and answer some questions:
- How have we responded, so far, to the Lord’s invitation to honor His Son?
- Are we like the invited guests who had ‘other priorities’? (See Mt 22:5.)
- Or are we among those who are physically inside the banquet hall (the Church), but behave in a way that is a real insult to the divine Host and a scandal for our co-guests? (See Mt 22:11.)
Membership in the Kingdom is always an undeserved gift. What is expected of us now is that we show our appreciation for it by living up to the dignity that God’s love has bestowed upon us.