Brian’s Reflection: Monday, October 10, 2011
… when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who
was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, `Friend, how did
you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. Then
the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and throw him
into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
For many are called, but few are chosen."
The Gospel called “Matthew”, chap 22 (read for Sunday, October 9, 11, RCL)
[ The whole text, for your pondering, is found here: http://www.lectionarypage.net/YearA_RCL/Pentecost/AProp23_RCL.html ]
First: do Jews or Muslims (of whatever stripe) have a lectionary that is followed for worship? Are there websites where they can be found? I’d appreciate knowing..
So: a Kingdom Parable. The central dynamic of the Gospel is to call human beings into the “Kingdom of God”. What is It? Simple: It is the community that Lives Divine Love. Most sensible Christians believe that all human beings are called into the “Kingdom”, and that the Christian Church is called to be a living symbol of this truth.
People often get sidetracked by the passage I’ve quoted. Misunderstood, it sounds very unfair. One must understand this “man without the wedding garment” in the context of the story, which powerfully speaks of the nature of the Kingdom of Love, of its inclusivity, of its importance for the well-being of the human community.
Many things can keep us out of the Kingdom Community. Excuses abound, as the parable relates. The man without the wedding garment is each of us. I once read that at fancy weddings in ancient Middle Eastern times, everyone invited was given a wedding garment. This man reminds us that each human being has been given a garment and invited into the Feast. In other words, to be a loving, compassionate, kind, just human being is of the essence of being human/divine. The “violence” of the man’s being cast out is to remind us that the greatest “sin” is to deny our essence and our destiny ….. to refuse the wedding garment.
Home for us all is in the community of Divine Compassion.
The parable says to us all: Come Home.