Sunday Readings: Isaiah 25.6-10; Philippians 4.12-14,19-20; Matthew 22.1-10
“The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out onto the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” – Matthew 22.9
The meal Jesus describes in Sunday’s gospel parable is more than the lavish dinner Luke describes in his gospel. Matthew turns the parable into an allegory. The dinner becomes a royal wedding feast for God’s Son, Jesus, the messiah, Israel’s long-anticipated king of peace. Those who refuse to come to the feast don’t believe Jesus is the messiah.
Without the wedding allegory the parable raises everyday questions. Why do people refuse invitations or come late or just do a cameo? The parable asks us to look at how we relate to others and examine our priorities — the farm, the business, family, friends — what, who comes first? Guests who refuse an invitation risk never being invited again. Snubbed hosts have insult and anger to process. What about the leftover food?
For Matthew, Jesus the messiah hosts the wedding banquet every time Christians gather in his name and break bread together. Eucharist fulfills the prophet Isaiah’s vision of God setting a great feast for all nations. For Christians eucharist is this messianic meal, a feast that invites people of every nation to its abundance.
Who do you invite to your table? What do you like about a wedding feast as an image of the kingdom of God?