In today’s gospel reading from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives us the parable of a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. This parable tells us about God’s relationship with the Israelites. The king in the parable is God and his son is Jesus Christ. The servants dispatched to summon the invited guests are the prophets of God sent to the Jews. And the invited guests who refused to come to the wedding feast are the Jews. The people gathered from the streets and brought to the feast by the servants were the Gentiles . This parable relates to us today because we Catholic Christians are now like the Jews in Jesus’s time. We have been invited to the Lord’s banquet yet we have refused the Lord’s invitation to share in and partake of the riches prepared for us. We have been invited to the wedding feast of God through the Sacraments. In Baptism, we became children of God and co-heirs of His kingdom. In the Holy Eucharist, we are fed with the body and blood of Christ to strengthen us in our daily battle with the devil and sin. In Confirmation, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon us to enlighten and illumine us to go out into the world and live out as well as proclaim the gospel of Christ fearlessly as His soldiers. With the two Sacraments of Christian Healing, we are healed physically when we are sick by the Anointing of the Sick, and our sins are forgiven us in the Sacrament of Confession. With the Sacraments of Christian Service, that is, Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders, we are called to serve God in our individual families as parents and in the church as priests.

But even with all these blessings, graces and mercies we have received from God through the Sacraments, we have still refused to come to His wedding feast in Heaven due to our life of sin. We have ignored God’s invitation like the invited guests in the gospel reading, who went away to the farm, another to their business and the rest who laid hold of the king’s servants, mistreated them, and killed them. We have refused to accept God’s invitation to us today by being absorbed in our own activities, by not coming to Church and giving various excuses. We have refused to accept God’s invitation to us today by not participating attentively and actively at Mass, we cannot even give God an hour of our time in a week during the Sunday Mass to praise, adore, worship, and thank Him. We do not participate or help out in any ministry, activity, fundraisers or events in the Church. We have refused God’s invitation by insulting, threatening, mistreating, misrepresenting, cajoling, disrespecting and persecuting His lay ministers and clergy who give their time, effort, and lives working for God in His vineyard.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, remember the reaction of the king in the parable. He was enraged by the actions of the invited guests who refused to come to his son’s wedding feast that he punished them, and sent his troops to destroy those murderers, and burned their city. Let that not be our fate, rather let us wholeheartedly and sincerely answer God’s invitation to His Son’s wedding feast in heaven today by accepting our wrongs, by repenting from our sins, by going back to God through prayer and works of charity, and by truly changing our lives. But remember we have to prepare ourselves by being appropriately dressed for the wedding feast as emphasized by Saint Paul in his Letter to the Colossians, chapter 3, verses 12 to 15 which says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful always. Amen!