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Many Are Called But Few Show Up

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Many Are Called But Few Show Up

Ezekiel 36:23-28
Matthew 22:1-14

The parable in today’s gospel brings to life the ancient and foundational promise of God – seen in the first reading. God promises the people that:
I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you.

Jesus re-imagines this action of God in terms of a great feast, with God as a King inviting repeatedly people to enter into this feast. But in the telling Jesus also notes that so often God’s promised salvation is rejected by the very ones it is offered to. However the parable does emphasise one point. While overwhelmingly a gift, our participation in the kingdom does also entail some responsibility and action on our part. As with our famous guest (above), the invitation also calls for some response on our part. God’s loving presence is not thrust upon us unwillingly, we possess the capacity to respond to God and we are invited to enter into a living relationship with God. Even if our very capacity to respond to God’s initiatives in our lives is God’s gift too (much like the wedding garment freely provided), we are still invited to respond. And God makes it so simple – as simple as putting on the garment already provided – we only have to follow the promptings of God’s own Spirit (already dwelling within us)!

Thus from our scriptures today one can take heart that our life in God is an invitation, it is a free gift and is never forced upon us; and in even when people reject all that God offers, God is undeterred. The offer is made again and again. Let us live our Christian lives in this same spirit of joy and gratitude for the God who is close to us.

Credit:
This article is written by Rev Fr. Joseph Osho OSJ. Please visit his personal blog @ https://www.blogger.com/profile/10377666931103644634
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