Jesus warns that men must both desire and prepare to receive God’s mercy in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can more fully receive the Fruits of Holy Communion and by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can give God his best in t Holy Mass.
20th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Mt 22:1-14
Jesus continues His confrontation with the Jewish leadership through The Parable of the Marriage Feast in which He seeks to correct, persuade, and convert His enemies, and all men.
A king (God the Father) is pleased with his son (Jesus) and has prepared a spectacular wedding feast (the eternal Eucharist in the Kingdom of Heaven/The Mass) for his son the bridegroom (Jesus). Having invited His handpicked guests (men of the world), the king (God the Father) sends out servants (prophets and evangelists) to call men to the wedding feast (the Mass, Heaven); the king’s invited guests (men of the world) ignore the king’s (God’s) call. The king (God the Father), insulted but not angry, sends out more servants (prophets) to again invite his handpicked guests (men of the world), describing the spectacular feast (the marvelous blessings of Heaven). Remarkably, many of the invited guests (men of the world), mock, reject, and even react violently to the king’s (God the Father’s) invitation: some prefer to busy themselves with their farms/businesses (men are seduced by the world), while others, rebellious and mired in sin, murder the king’s servants (God’s prophets). The king (God the Father), in righteous anger, responds by punishing the evil doers (men who reject God) by destroying them and burning their cities (God judges and casts evil doers into the eternal death of Hell).
The king (God) is zealous for men to join in (receive eternal life) his feast (the Mass, Heaven), and tirelessly sends out his servants (the Apostles) to invite all men (the good and the bad) to come to the wedding feast (the Mass, Heaven). The king scrutinizes (God judges in the Judgment) the guests for their wedding garments (faith and good works) and casts out those who are unworthy (in unrepentant mortal sin) into the darkness (Hell) where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (horrific and unimaginable eternal punishment).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be filled with awe by Jesus, the perfection of Mercy and Justice: Son of the Father, Jesus generously lowers Himself into the world to announce the great blessings of the Kingdom of God; the perfection of Mercy and Diligence, Jesus relentlessly works to offer the merciful love of the Father to all men; Divine Justice, showing the limits of His offer of Mercy, excludes those who reject Him and Harshly punishes those who fail to repent in faith.
Gratefully receive the Fruits of Communion
Realize: While there can be multiple reasons why a man drifts away from the Mass (a lack of sacredness in the liturgy at his parish, unrepentant sin, ignorance), his love for Jesus and the Eucharist can be reinvigorated by recalling the stupendous blessings Jesus gives each man in the Mass.
Believe: Reflect upon the Fruits of Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so my heart is overflowing with thanks for Your sacrifice for me and the desire to receive You in the Eucharist.
Give your best to the Lord in the Mass
Realize: In Jesus’ parable, the king casts the man lacking a “wedding garment” at the wedding feast into the darkness (Hell); in this, Jesus is giving men an explicit warning to not approach Him in the Eucharist in an unworthy way.
Believe: Reflect upon the need to Prepare for Reception of the Eucharist (CCC 1385-1390).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so I learn how to worthily prepare to receive my King and I give Jesus, my Crucified Lord, my absolute best during every Mass.