In this parable, Jesus reveals how intensely God desires the salvation of all people. Despite the deepest longings of God for us to know, love and serve Him, some still obstinately reject His invitation. The intentional rejection of God is a choice so entirely selfish that it merits eternal punishment.
INVITED TO GOD’S BANQUET
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]
Meals can make for special moments. I simply revel in my own remembrances of family dinners celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
Jesus places the image of a banquet at the center of today’s Gospel (Matthew 22:1-14). Occurring regularly throughout the Bible, banquets symbolize God’s desire to provide for us in wonderfully abundant ways.
By means of this parable, Jesus warns us not to act as though God is of little or no importance. There is no excuse for rejecting God’s invitation to dine.
Then he [the king] said to his servants, “The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come” (v. 8).
Tragically, the reasons voiced the parable sound familiar to us all. Worldly allurements lead far too many to chase wealth, power, pleasure, and honor as ultimate goals. There is one alone who truly satisfies: God.
The Lord wants to fill His house, His Kingdom. Jesus continues the parable:
Go out into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find. The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests (vv. 10-11).
Those excluded from God’s heavenly banquet are the ones who themselves choose to ignore the Lord’s gracious invitation.