“Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Jesus directs another parable to the chief priests and elders, The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Mt 22:1-14).  This is the story of the king who gave a marriage feast for his son.  Some of those invited ignored the invitation while others killed the servants who called on the invitees to join the feast.  The king, hearing of this, sends his troops to kill the villains and burn their cities.  After this the king invites the bad and good from the streets to come in.  The banquet hall then was full, but one man was not wearing a wedding garment and would not explain why this was so.  The king has him bound and tossed out.  Jesus concludes with the words in the headline.  Every person is invited to the Lord’s banquet.  We normally think of heaven when we speak like this, but heaven starts here on earth.  The Mass, as “heaven on earth,” is where God meets us in a special way.  The graces available in the Sacrament are infinite — they prepare us for heaven.  But our dispositions to receive those graces can fall far short due to sin and worldly pursuits.  We are cut off entirely if in the state of mortal sin and add to our fault by receiving the Lord in Communion in this state.  To be in the chosen contingent we must rid ourselves of all those things that serve to distance us from God or place a complete barrier to the life of grace.  Fortunately, another sacrament, this one of healing, Confession, when participated in with openness and a firm amendment to reform, brings us back into right relationship with the Lord.  Regular Communion serves to strengthen that bond.  The King of the wedding feast wishes to clothe us with the wedding garment so that we can join the feast.  Only we, like the unfortunate man in the parable, can refuse it.  Even if we have spurned the invitation or treated it lightly in the past, let not another day go by that we do not prepare for the banquet and join it each Sunday so that we may be part of it forever when the Lord calls us.

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