Choose wisely: Accept God’s invitation to share life with him

| Deacon John Christianson | October 9, 2014 | 0 Comments
CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic

CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic

Have you ever thrown a party and a person who you were hoping would come didn’t show up? If they saw the importance of your party, they would be there.

The wedding feast parable speaks about a similar situation, but it is really speaking about the feast of eternal life with God. What could be more important than our eternal life with God? Nothing. Yet, we are told in the parable that some chose to ignore it. The disappointment that you might have had in that person because of their absence at your party is typically not born out of hate. Rather, it is a disappointment born out of love. You really wanted that person to be there with you, and they chose something that they felt was more important.

This disappointment is the very sentiment of God toward us when we choose to attend other feasts. These other feasts are those things that we value more than God’s own invitations to us to share life in him. It is not out of hate that we are barred from the feast. God respects our freedom to choose and will respect it for all eternity. That is what hell really is: our choice, not God’s. That is the choice this parable makes us confront. Will we choose God and his love, or will we choose some lesser feast that separates us from God: hell.

What, then, is this feast that we should choose? When we read “wedding feast” in the Bible, two things should come to mind. First, we should think of the loving marriage of Christ to the Church. In his suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus and the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, God has so united himself with creation that we can truly call Jesus the bridegroom and the Church the bride. Second, we should think about the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, which invite us into this wedding feast of Jesus and the Church. We are invited not only to receive Jesus in his entirety in the Eucharist, but also to unite ourselves to the self-gift of the cross. We participate in the very sacrifice that makes this wedding feast possible.

Finally, we must learn from the guest who came to the wedding feast without a wedding garment: We must come prepared to share in feast. In the sacraments, we receive our wedding garment from Christ — most notably the white garment of baptism. The sacraments, especially the Eucharist, strengthen our ability to love, even when it demands sacrifice. Each day we need to choose the wedding feast of God by living out his great commandment of love. We must constantly be preparing for that ultimate wedding feast of the lamb. Choose wisely, for God will respect our choice for all eternity.  Blessed are those called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Deacon Christianson is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Crookston. His teaching parish is St. Peter in North St. Paul.


Sunday, Oct. 28

Twenty-eighth Sunday in ordinary time

Readings

  • Isaiah 25:6-10a
  • Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
  • Matthew 22:1-14

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Category: Sunday Scriptures