Nineteenth Sunday alter Pentecost
TO avoid the accusation of giving free advertisement space we refrain from mentioning the name of a well-known firm which provides its customers with wedding garments. No doubt it had its equivalent in the days of our Lord. It was the custom for the host to provide his guests with a special wedding garment. The King, in this morning's parable. was obviously wealthy enough to provide all that was necessary to make the guests respectable for the reception he had prepared for his son's wedding. One of them. though dragged in from the street, was too ill-mannered to care and too sullen to make excuse. lie preferred his careless, brutish way of life to the refinements of a King's table.
I is the Introit which declares that God is the salvation of His people tells us of God's promise that in whatever trouble they are and cry to Him, He will hear therm Very often, it is not a question of people crying to God but of God sending His servants into the highways and side streets and compelling them to come in by the power of Ilk grace. We had very little to say, when all is said and done, in our own baptism. Even the convert is conscious that God is "edging" him to the right direction by providential circumstances. We find. nevertheless, that we are guests at the wedding feast. The Jews who had been originally invited made excuses and went so far as to kill the prophets God sent. We, on the other hand, sit at the feast. At a modern wedding it is not so much the men who worry about what they wear. The women, and who dare criticise them for this, vie with one another in their dress. They will not he outdone in shoes or hats or handbags. For the purpose of this parable. I think our Lord would approve of that. When we are invited to a wedding we expected to look our best and when God invites us into the society of His Son we are expected to he our best. No shoddy veneer of virtue will do. At Baptism, the priest addressed us with the word, "Take this white garment. and see that you carry it without stain before the judgement seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may have eternal life." The wedding garment is the new man we must put on (epistle). It is this which relates us to God and being a relative demands that we should act not with sullen indifference but with royal dignity.
Fr. PASCHAL O.F.M. Cop.