Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’
But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’
Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless.Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Where do you see yourself in this story? This Gospel passage offers a wonderful opportunity for Ignatian contemplation and putting yourself into the story because it can play out in so many ways.
There are times when I find myself being one of the invited guests, invited to a banquet that I’ve decided isn’t on the top of my priority list. What in my life am I giving higher importance to than prayer, or my relationship with God.
Other times I feel more like the guests invited by the servants, not expecting to be considered worthy of such a feast. What do I feel unworthy to bring before God? How can I learn to accept God’s invitation?
I have also placed myself in the role of the unprepared guest without the proper attire, failing to properly respond to such a welcome. When have I failed to respond to God’s invitation as I should have?
On rare occasions, I have found myself as the king, knowing that I have something amazing to offer, but feeling like no one wants it. When have I tried to do what I think is right only to run into disappointment? How do I respond in faith?
Where do you see yourself in this story?
—Lauren Gaffey is the Program Director of Charis Ministries, a part of the Ignatian Young Adult Ministries outreach of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality. She also works with Jesuit Connections in Chicago and other programs of the Midwest Jesuits.
Lord Jesus, you invite us to the banquet of a deeper relationship with you. Sometimes we respond enthusiastically, and other times we ignore you. Open our hearts to recognize your invitations as they come. Give us the courage to respond to you and follow you more closely in our daily lives. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team