CLOTHING AND SPIRITUAL CHANGE

Thursday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

            God the Father has prepared a wedding feast for his Son, and we are all invited to this feast. That is the poetic summary of salvation that can be found in the gospel parable that Jesus tells us today. The “wedding feast” is an apt metaphor of the kind of life we will have with God in his kingdom. It connotes union, intimacy and fellowship with God.

            The urgent point is this: We must respond to the invitation, and we must wear the proper wedding garment. Every minute, every moment, God is inviting us. His invitation may take the form of a moving bible passage, or an inspirational story, or words of inspiration from someone, or a wonderful experience, or a challenging situation. God is inviting us, in so many ways, to the wedding feast…inviting us to come, to sit down at his table, to eat and drink with the Father and the Son…inviting us to intimacy and fellowship with him.

            But, as the gospel tells us, many refuse to come to the wedding feast. Do we refuse to come to the Lord’s feast? We refuse to come because we are too preoccupied with so many things that we have not seriously thought about God’s invitation. We refuse to come because we have other priorities job, career, business that we are not really seeking first the kingdom of God. This refusal or indifferentism to God’s invitation could mean the death of the spiritual life in us. God is offering his grace but we often refuse. It is important to examine ourselves on this.

            Clothing is a common New Testament metaphor for spiritual change. Today’s gospel confronts us with God’s requirement of “putting on” something appropriate for our table fellowship with him. The point is that we are warned of the dire consequences of accepting the invitation and doing nothing except showing up.

            The wedding garment here stands for the transformation of our lives. It means, in St. Paul’s language, “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It means putting on humility and meekness, goodness and generosity, justice and fairness, concern and service to others, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and love. It means putting on Christ’s Spirit so as to be able to imitate his self-sacrificing and self-giving love. Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

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