One thing can definitely said about God — he is not trying to thimblerig us into anything, neither heaven nor hell. He presents the case and lets it stand on its own merit.
If the king is God, then we are the invited and have the opportunity to go to the wedding (enter heaven). The decision is yours to make. However, how many times during the course of a day is He calling you to do something and yet you cannot be bothered? It happens all the time. No time to pray. Daily Mass is too much of a hardship. Kids need to play soccer, can't make Mass this week. Work too many hours, no time to volunteer at the parish. It's almost as if the things which make one happy and sanctify daily life are an annoyance. Imagine if your children took this attitude with you.
Anyway, let's assume that by and large we are committed to attending the feast. The last lines of this Gospel are utterly frightening: “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king 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.”
Tossed out for wearing the wrong outfit. Seems harsh, but simply put, you enter heaven on God's terms, not your own. You cannot rewrite the rules for admittance. You cannot develop your own system of morality. It seems like everyone and their mother believe they can think, say, and do what they want and get into heaven. Well, they might get to the gates, but then God will be calling the bouncers to send them on their way.
So, that's it, His way or the highway? Yes. Would you really want it any other way? He has planned the whole thing out. With infinite wisdom and love He has created a way for you to live in this world and still make it to the next. You don't need to figure out how to get to heaven — He has given you the Church to make sure you not only know how to get there (teaching) but the tools to do it (sanctifying). The only responsibility you have is to recognize that you have been invited and then dress properly. You only need be bothered to accept the invitation and attend the ceremony in formal garb.
(Fr. Gee is parochial vicar at Our Lady of Angels Parish, Woodbridge, Virginia. This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)
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