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Faith Daily | 18 August 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p570

Almighty God,

you have given your only son

to be for us both a sacrifice for sin

and also an example of godly life:

give us grace that we may always thankfully receive

the benefits of his sacrifice,

and also daily endeavour

to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen



GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 22: 1-14


Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then 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.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Angela Back


This parable is at first confronting. I much prefer the parable of the Good Shepherd going after the one lost sheep. And didn’t the son of the prodigal father get not only a fattened calf, but a ring on his finger and the best robe? But of course, the younger son had learnt humility. The man poorly dressed at the banquet while not too busy, was indifferent or careless or not wanting to pay respect. Maybe just there for the food…


So we come to what seems to me to be the most confronting sentence in this parable: ‘Many are invited but few are chosen” (v 14). In the preceding chapter we read about Jesus eating with tax collectors and prostitutes. They were drawn to Jesus’ great open-hearted friendship, and they were profoundly grateful. The message of the Kingdom was indeed good news. And yes, they were chosen.


Whatever the reason for this great social affront, whether small-mindedness or being self-centred, the underlying question for me seems to be “Am I wearing God’s garment, the clothes that show I belong to God’s kingdom?” Do I embrace His grace, His humility? For we who follow in the way of Jesus, it is a matter of allowing ourselves to be chosen day by day. It’s not a once-in-a lifetime banquet. It’s willingness to be chosen by God to be a part of His plans, His celebrations. All the time.


This is what happens after the prodigal son arrives, after the lost sheep gets found. It’s a bit like St Anselm’s prayer:



FINAL PRAYER


Teach me to seek you,

and reveal yourself to me as I seek,

for I cannot seek you if you do not teach me how,

and I cannot find you unless you reveal yourself.

Let me seek you by desiring you;

and desire you by seeking you;

let me find you by loving you;

and love you by finding you.

Amen.

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