Would You Make It into the Banquet?

Ez 36:23-28 / Mt 22:1-14

From time to time the media provide coverage of fantastic parties all over the world, and many of us watch with fascination from a distance. Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball is still talked about decades after the event. Malcolm Forbes’s $5 million birthday party thrown in his own honor certainly caught our attention, as do the multi-million dollar weddings and birthdays that occur every year. You can be sure, there are very few no-shows at those events.

That’s why the negative response to the king’s banquet in today’s gospel seems at first glance so strange. The invitations were ignored or brushed off with the vaguest of excuses. And when some guests were finally gathered, one of them ignored the most basic of courtesies and barged around the party in his dusty work clothes, not even bothering to don one of the wedding garments that were provided free at the door.

The whole story seems bizarre until we recognize that the king’s banquet is in fact the banquet of life to which God has invited us all. It’s a banquet to be enjoyed and shared with our Father and with all His family. And the only price of admission is an open, caring heart, which too many of the invited guests simply didn’t have.

So there we have today’s question: What’s the state of your heart? Would it get you into the banquet? Would it keep you there?