THE CHOSEN ONE
Today’s Parable is about a royal wedding banquet (MT 22:1-14). Wedding is a happiest and joyous day in the lives of the newly wedding couples.
I had three weddings in the Church of St Joseph – one was on last Thursday (8/10) and the other two were on Saturday (10/10). Initially, I allowed the wedding couples to extend their wedding invitations up to 100 guests in respect to the size of the Church. The couples were quite happy with extension of the numbers. Then, the Chancery announcement which was released on 6 October 2020, particularly on the suspension Masses in Klang Valley Parishes for two weeks until further notice. In that note, we have read the guideline for celebration of Sacraments and events especially for a wedding ceremony which only allow up to 20 guests/attendance.
When I informed the couples, they were really disappointed. The couples said that they have already extended the invitation to their guests. They were finding so difficult to inform their guests within a couple of days before the wedding to comply requirement. Finally, with heavy hearts, they conformed and only kept their immediate guest list to the respective the immediate family members. Let’s call them “the chosen ones”.
This is like what the Gospel says today, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Chosen means called, elected or accepted. When we say “NO”, to an invitation, it would be an insult, shame and embarrassing. To some extent, it’s not generous of us to do so. God’s heart does not exclude anyone, it’s all inclusive, regardless. God’s grace is what saves us. God has chosen and elected all to be included in the Wedding Banquet. In the heart of God, everyone is invited and everyone is welcomed, only few will be responding to the wedding celebration.
Many are called but few are chosen! So what is our response to God’s invitation? God invites every one of us. We are preoccupied with many things in our lives. Often, we are distracted and disinterested with His invitation, especially in this digital world. When we do not pay attention and disregard God’s invitation, then we are no longer chosen to His banquet. If we take every opportunity to answer to His invitation in faith without looking at our worries and anxieties over what ever, then we find fulfilment of God’s plan in our lives.
When we see the scenario on the parable and on the story of three weddings which took place in our Parish during these couple of days. We must understand that the invitation is not determined by our goodness, but God’s abundant grace. God still invites us. God invites us to celebrate life on this earth with gratitude. After this earthly life He invites us to enter into Heaven for a celebration of an eternal banquet. In this shortness of earthly life, we must undergo the ongoing conversion and repentance as we look forward for the eternal banquet with the communion of all Saints.
Let’s not disregard and be sluggish in taking every opportunity to respond wholeheartedly and faithfully to His invitation. All we need to do is to accept God’s invitation and wear our wedding robes – cloth ourselves with Christ, and we will definitely get into His Kingdom.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy