Many Are Called but Few are Chosen… So Dress for the Occasion
Sometimes Jesus hits us with a shakeup. A whack on the back of the head, a call to be better. I find the message contained within the parable of the wedding feast to be one of these shakeups.
The parable of the wedding feast is a Gospel I often come back to and particularly in my later years have begun to understand the meaning of “many are called, but few are chosen”.
I used to struggle with the entirety of this message due to the conflicting moments within this parable.
The message of the parable starts off inclusive but changes to what seems to be exclusivity.
One of my favourite quotes from the Bible is from Luke’s Gospel, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvests field” (Luke 10:2). I see a lot of similarities between this verse and the message shared in today’s Gospel.
In Luke’s Gospel, only fools would let the harvest fall to the ground unharvested, but it would also be foolish to show up to the harvest without the tools to complete the task. In today’s reading, the king prepared a big feast with plenty of food – it was nothing short of luxurious and anyone turning down such an offer would be a fool. Then the king spots a man at the banquet that was not dressed for the occasion he was called for. The man knew the extravagance of the occasion but had not prepared himself properly, so he is dismissed and sent away.
Similiarly, we are all called to the table of Christ, but we in turn must dress ourselves for the occasion and look at what we are clothing ourselves with.
Are we coming to Mass clothed with hatred for others? Do we walk past the homeless without compassion? Do we come home with angry hearts from our day and take it out on those around us? We must dress ourselves for the occasion by clothing ourselves with compassionate and understanding love for all, if we are to truly answer the call.
Tom is reflecting on this Sunday’s Gospel Matthew 22:1-14