Upon hearing these words, one of those at the table said to Jesus, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!”
Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said: ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.’ Another said: ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ Still another said, ‘How can I come when I have just married?’
The servant returned alone and reported this to his master. Upon hearing the account, the master of the house flew into a rage and ordered his servant: ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported after a while: ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ The master said: ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes and force people to come in, to make sure my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.”
We can think that this “man” giving a feast, is the King celebrating the wedding of his Son (Mt 22:1-10). Of course, he has carefully prepared everything. But the invited find excuses to decline the invitation. We often think that Jesus is alluding to the Jewish People who refused the final call to the Kingdom through Jesus. But the excuses those invited gave are very common: a piece of land, five yoke of oxen and a recent marriage. This kind of pretexts in their variety concerns our world and the customs of our society. Therefore we can apply the parable to our own lives. Material or familiar concerns can lead us to postpone our true conversion to the Gospel of Jesus. The consequences can be deadly for us. The call has its time which passes.
On the other hand, we realize the preferences of the Lord: poor, cripple, blind and lame. We are far from the business of rich people. Really, the poor are evangelized (Mt 11:5) and their answer is positive. The servants of the Lord will even be forced to come to the banquet. The King expects a very full house forever. But to be utterly available to the call of the Father we must be humble and poor.
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