August 19 2021 Gospel Reading and Reflection: Matthew 22:1-14

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 22:1-14

1 Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying,
2 “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
3 He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.
4 A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘
5 Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.
6 The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
7 The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
8 Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
9 Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
10 The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.
11 But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
12 He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.
13 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.’
14 Many are invited, but few are chosen.”.

Reflection: To answer or not to answer the call

Good News: God is inviting us to a feast.

The parable of the wedding banquet is about the invitation of God for all people to be part of His Kingship. In the Old Testament, the Jews thought they were the only ones to be saved. Not so in the New Testament. Jesus opened the gate of the Kingdom to all people from all nations.

God sent many prophets to Israel to “invite” them to repent and come back to the fold. Sadly, many Jews spurned the invitation and even mistreated the messengers of God. Even today, a lot of people do not welcome His messengers even persecuting them. A lot more are deaf to the Words of God. Indeed, many are called but a few are chosen.

Yet God does not stop inviting people. He does not stop “knocking at the door of our heart” (Revelation 3:20). He gives many chances. May we open out heart and allow Him to enter and abide in us.

When we go to a wedding feast, we need to be properly attired. The same is required for us to partake in the Kingdom of God. We need to properly wear our garment of faith, hope and love. God is merciful but He respects our freedom. He does not force anyone to respond to His invitation but he demands of us to follow His commandments, to give our total yes to Him and to be holy as He is holy.

Gospel Reading and Reflection for August 19 2021
Gospel Reading and Reflection for August 19, 2021

Questions for Discussion or Meditation
1. In today’s world, who are the messengers of God? In what way, people including you reject the Messengers of God?
2. Why does God continue to invite His people to His Kingdom?
3. What do you think about Jesus’ “open-door policy” about who will be saved? Do you have any comment about the term “racism”?
4. After hearing the invitation, are you willing to accept and are you prepared to attend “feast” prepared by God?

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