Parable Of The Wedding Feast It Is Always About Morality. 14th Sunday. Audio Homily.


More homilies on the Parable of the Wedding Feast are HERE

The parable about the wedding feast has many layers of complex theology, and all of it is important, but as in any parable, there is something that is the most important. This is a parable about how to live the (only) way that leads to eternal life.

Matthew 22:1-14 1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

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2 Responses to “Parable Of The Wedding Feast It Is Always About Morality. 14th Sunday. Audio Homily.”

  1. Deborah says:

    Father, Bless,

    The problem that arises whenever I hear the word 'morality' is that I have a tendency to think in terms of my own definition of morality.  I know my ways are not His ways and my understanding of morality, even with knowing scripture and the teachings of the Church, falls so short of His holiness–the Ultimate and only true Morality.  Even if I could get my own version out of my head and knew exactly what was required, I cannot, without His grace, even come close to living up to His standard of Morality.
    Perhaps the man without the wedding garment of holiness came to the feast thinking that what he was wearing was 'good enough'.  He used his own dress code, his own definition of a moral life.  Once He is before the Lord, gazing at His radiant and spotless Beauty, even if he now recognizes his mistake–what can he say?  He has no clothing that is fitting to wear before such Holiness.  And even if he did, with the wedding feast beginning, it is now too late to change.
    My only hope of being truly moral and not just 'good enough', my only hope of putting on the holiness of the Lord, is to go to the Lord and seek and ask Him for a spotless wedding garment.  And then I must constantly seek His help (and the help of His blessed mother and all the saints) to remember to wear this garment and to keep it clean. 
    Because I have not yet grown into this beautiful robe of righteousness, it slips easily from my shoulders and it is quickly soiled as I drag it along the ground.  The only means I have to clean it is to bring it to Him, in confession of the dirtiness of my soul, of my carelessness, negligence and disobedience in caring for it.  He takes it from me and cleans it, once more, through the purifying process of communion with Him. He knows I will have to return, all too soon, in continual and constant repentance.  But that's the way it's supposed to work and I will only be in danger of losing my covering of holiness if I, through constant negligence, busyness, disobedience or lack of humility cease seeking His grace.
    I am often too busy, too negligent and certainly lack humility (it hurts my pride to have to come again and again with my smelly and stained, dirty laundry that was so recently cleaned).  But as long as I struggle against these obstacles (and ask for help in overcoming them), as long as I continue to recognize my dirtiness and need and keep showing up, that's all that seems to matter.  In this way I can put on and retain the garment of True Morality, with all its beautiful adornments of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. "Against such there is no law" Galatians 5:23

  2. Melanie says:

    I often hear nowadays, the message: "This is too hard." when it concerns being a Christian. All sorts of scriptures are thrown up in defense of behavior and attitude that says: "This is too hard".  To be sure, being (not becoming) a Christian is hard if you and I are not trying to be, not loving Christ. Chesterton tells us that: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried", he wrote in What's Wrong with the World (1910).  Even recently, Fr. Patrick Reardon gave a homily concerning what holiness is and the point was made that often times the reason we think of Christian morals and the Christian life as hard is that there may be the attitude of approaching it from the outside (which is what this parable is talking about with the clothing reference) as if it is an "ideal" are too far off from us – conveniently- and not by allowing Christ to cloth us from the inside properly. To quote Fr. Reardon: "Doesn't work."  The scriptures tell us: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9)  We all know what we like and what we don't like, even what we hate.  We usually find sufficient reason or rationale to avoid doing what we hate.  Might it be that our attitude is not lining up with Christ because we haven't yet allowed Him to live and guide us from the inside?  Yes, there is the pride issue of not wanting to come and ask for help if we find we are doing this repeatedly, but that is also telling us something about ourselves and our heart and approach.  Do we feel the urgency to hate this worldliness in that sense it which it wants to live apart from Christ? Or have we got into a cycle where we let ourselves "off the hook" too much?  There is a tension here that we have to live in because the stakes as this parable brings out are high, so high that in another place, Jesus instructs us in strong metaphoric language to "cut off" anything that "keeps" stumbling us. We must keep progressing and not be content to say we are so far off from righteousness and so on.  That is why Christ came and offers to live on the inside of us.  We are the ones who get in His way. 

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