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Theology for the common man

28 Sunday in Ordinary Time A Year

Sunday, October 11, 2020

"Many are invited, but few are chosen,” we hear today these words of Jesus, who keeps continuing the teachings about the Kingdom of God. We hear these words in the context of a king who sent his servants to invite the people to a wedding feast for his son. However, no one from the invited guests appeared at this feast. Their explanations did not help; as everything was prepared and at a great cost with a lot of painstaking time. The guests just ignored the invitation and some of them even mistreated the servants and killed them. The reaction of the king is understandable: he “sent his troops, destroyed those murderers and burned their city,” and replaced them with other guests whom he gathered from the streets. In the middle of this, one of the last guests didn't have a wedding garment. Caught by the king, he not only has to leave the feast but additionally is treated as those who despised the invitation; he was "cast into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Jesus directs this parable to the chief priest and elders of the people who were responsible for the poor religious condition of the chosen nation. An additional context of the first reading from the prophet Isaiah speaks about “a feast of rich food and choice wines” God has prepared for all the people, shows that Jesus and his listeners knew exactly whom he was speaking about. The chosen nation, so long favored by God, will no longer be privileged anymore because of their unbelief. It didn’t help the invitations of the prophets, calling them during the ages, to come back to God nor other admonitions. They always were finding any excuse and even ingratitude in the form of killing the divine servants not to come back to God. And it will be also in the case of Jesus, the Son of God, whose offering however brings salutary effects for all people. There will be only one condition to participate at this kind of wedding feast of the son of the king: to have the wedding garment, which means the grace of the adopted child of God and related with it a vigilance of the heart open to God’s call. Exactly in this context we find the words of Jesus who says: "Many are invited, but few are chosen.” Many are invited, tells that everyone is called and according to the first reading, all people. However, only those are chosen, those are saved, who received the invitation and responded to coming with the wedding garment, which means, with the grace of God which gives them constant access to God. We know that with this grace we walk always in the presence of God. And in this sense we call ourselves chosen ones.