Thursday, August 20, 2015

“We are free to choose our paths, but we can't choose the consequences that come with them.”

The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly: the peas make no mistake, but come up and show his line. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882: American essayist, lecturer, and poet)

Gospel Text: (MT 22:1-14)
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables
saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
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.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, 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.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
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.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

In the Gospel, we recall one of the parables of Jesus. Not one of his gentle parables but one of his most violent ones. A King destroys those who violently refuse to accept his invitation to his son’s wedding. Then, he has his servants go out and invite to the wedding feast whoever they find. The wedding hall is filled with guests, the “bad and good alike.” However, the King has his servants evict a guest who has not come to the feast appropriately dressed. They are to “bind his hands and his feet, and cast him into the darkness outside.”

This story cautions us about taking our commitments to God too casually. The fate of the Kings’ reluctant wedding guests illustrates what can happen when we refuse to honor our relationship with God. Such an attitude leads to darkness, heartbreak and tragedy.

God gave his only Son so that we can have eternal life. As we ponder the various consequences of commitment, both God’s and our own, we pray that we can have the courage and perseverance to live out faithfully the commitments we’ve made to God and to one another.

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