Jesus continued speaking to them in parables:
“This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven: A king gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the banquet, but the guests refused to come.
Again, he sent other servants, instructing them to say to the invited guests, ‘I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now, everything is ready. Come to the wedding!’ But they paid no attention and went away, some to their farms, and some to their work. Others seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them.
The king was furious. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go instead to the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests.
The king came in to see the wedding guests, and he noticed a man not wearing a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in without the wedding clothes?’ But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Today’s first reading contains one of the most important texts of the Bible. But, in order to understand its importance, we have to remember two things.
First, let us recall that the first Covenant, that of Moses, was based on a law (the Ten Commandments) written by God on stone tablets (Ex 24:12). But the Israelites broke that Covenant repeatedly. So then, God promised to make a new Covenant, one which would overcome the exteriority of stone tablets outside the Israelites, and would be written inside them, on their hearts (Jer 31:33).
Second, keeping this background in mind, today’s excerpt from the prophet Ezekiel specifies further just what exactly will make the New Covenant so unique. In this excerpt God says: “I shall put my spirit within you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws.” So now we are told a tremendous secret: it is the Holy Spirit himself who will move our heart, the very love and strength of God!
Our whole lives should, second by second, be moved by the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit in the depths of our hearts. He is our Secret Lover, and he wants to bring us into God’s arms.
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