Each week, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Click HERE for the readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
We sometimes see signs that say, “No shirt. No Shoes. No service.” Now we also see signs that tell us, “Wearing masks inside is required.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus relates the story of a man who was invited to the banquet of the wedding of the king’s son, and after many people had refused to go, he accepted the invitation. But he showed up not properly attired.
The king said to him, “My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?” In the end, the man was thrown out “into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
The wedding related in the parable is the marriage of Christ (the king’s son) and the Church (the bride). All of us who are members of the Church have accepted the invitation to join in the celebration. And the Eucharist is the banquet of joy in the bridegroom’s presence that prepares us for the Heavenly feast where, as Isaiah hints, there will be “a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.”
Still, proper attire is required. The wedding garment mentioned in the parable is not the clothing that we wear on the outside of our bodies when we attend Church. Not at all. It is much more than that. Some say that the wedding garment is made up of our good deeds. In other words, our actions must be in line with Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbor.
Others say, as St. Gregory the Great did, that the wedding garment is charity. He wrote that the person without the wedding garment is someone who believes in the Church, but does not have love in his heart. I think we have all met people like that.
St. Paul gave some clarity on what we must wear in the Kingdom banquet to which we have all been invited: “As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:12).
We must, ultimately, put on Christ and strive to look like him in what we do, what we say, and even in what we think.
This is the garment, the garment of faith, that is required for the wedding feast that we have been invited to attend. Proper attire is required for the feast.
Have a blessed week everyone.