Sometimes when we encounter a Gospel story we find ourselves face to face with some of our own deepest understandings.
I mean for most of us we can understand the ruler being upset with the invited guests. I mean really, a wedding feast and you don’t show up? Yet haven’t we all kind of been like those guests sometimes….we think we are too busy, or our job won’t let us get away, or we just don’t have the time, or…what ever it is. Sometimes those things are true, real, and unavoidable, and other times we use them as crutches to address our own discomfort.
But the second story is the one which most of us would say…..”WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT” I mean if you have ever walk in and around a homeless encampment, the last thing most of us will see is a suit, tie or dress fit enough to wear to a wedding. That story we have to understand has a context….at a wedding feast, the guests are given a garment….it is something like a prayer shawl that is draped over the shoulders and wraps around like a shawl, it is a sign of respect, of honor, and of gratitude.
You literally put on the garment of gratitude, provided by the host.
Ok….but kick the guest out, bound hand and foot? Now that may be a bit of a literal exaggeration, but meant to prove a point….So what’s the point?
God provides us with a garment at our baptism, we shed our old self and put on Chirst….but what does that mean….
It means showing up and putting on the garment of gratitude…..
I am sure many of us can relate to this, there are probably days that we would really prefer to stay home, in bed and asleep. Nice comfortable, warm, cozy, no drama, no computers, and no emails, telephone calls, or text messages. Yet most of our supervisors would not take kindly to the call that says, hey, I just decided to stay home for the day….just not feeling it today!
We might well end up like the guest at the wedding banquet…our hands and feet would be bound by pink slips, telling us not to bother coming in at all.
In some ways, that is the story Jesus is referencing in this Gospel.
Every day of our lives is a banquet! Every day we stand on the highways and byways of our lives and we are invited and decline or we accept and we go in…..
The question becomes, HOW do we step into the great banquet hall?
Do we accept life on life’s terms, do we celebrate all that is good and all that is holy, or do we call up and say: hey God, am just not feeling it today. Sorry I’ll take a rain check!
That my friends are the challenge we face every day. That is the challenge of this Gospel story.
Are we putting on the garment of gratitude for all that God shares with and allows us to share in as well or do we show up begrudgingly and without any gratitude?
Every day we get to decide how we will show up at our feast….