Thursday, 21 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Today's gospel reading talks about a king giving a wedding banquet for his son. Usually when Jesus speaks of a king he means God, and the wedding business ties in neatly with St. Paul calling the church "the Bride of Christ". What about the guests who had been invited but would not come? I'm guessing these are the people who heard God's Word but do not respond, ranging from Jews who stray away from their God to atheists round the world today. These people are indifferent because they put their needs and worldly ambitions as more important than God, or they simply do not believe His servants (prophets and priests/pastors).
I've read opinions from a few atheists saying that one of the reasons they don't believe in God is that they couldn't reconcile a loving God with a God who condemns and tortures those who didn't believe in Him or sinned against Him. But doesn't God have the right to get angry? Doesn't He have the right to punish as He sees fit? So we see with the king in the parable. He was furious with those who mistreated his servants, so he killed them and destroyed their homes. We see this happening many times in the Old Testament. Then the king decide to invite all and sundry to his feast. These would be the Gentiles, or just simply anyone, rich and poor, clever and foolish, powerful and weak, bad and good.
But just because one is escorted into the feast hall doesn't mean one can stay there. Look at the man who did not wear wedding clothes. I interpret this as a person (or people) who became Christians but did not wish to change their lifestyles to suit God's laws. These people continue their pre-Christian ways and thus did not put on the wedding garment of true Christian discipleship. In the parable such people were ejected from the feast into the outer darkness. If we see the feast as Heaven / Paradise, then the outer darkness is Hell. If we want to belong in Heaven then we must be worthy of Heaven and our daily lives must reflect this worthiness.

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