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August 18

FOCUS:    Jesus is eager to share the kingdom of God with all who eagerly accept his invitation.

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Reflection

00:00 / 01:49

Ezekiel 26: 23-28

Psalm 51

Matthew 22: 1-14

 

Ouch!  Today’s gospel comes off pretty rough, doesn’t it?  In the parable, the king invites guests to a wedding feast – an event that is normally considered a happy day with great anticipation and hope.  However, these poor servants who go looking for the guests, they get a rude reply the first time and then get beaten and killed.  That isn’t very nice.  Our daughter recently got engaged…I may think twice about sending invitations to some people…ok, kidding.

 

Let’s look at today’s gospel in the context of one of the overarching themes of Matthew’s gospel – the people of Israel continually turned their backs on God.  Time after time, God invited the Israelites to live by His rules, guidelines for life that would help ensure they would be well cared for and help them grow in two ways: love God with all their strength, and love each other the way He wants the good for them.  When the Israelites turned from God, He sent prophets to remind them.  Finally, He sent His son with an invitation that came in the form of a cross…a cross of love.

 

God’s invitation to His great feast of eternal life is open to us each day, but he makes it very clear that it is our choice to accept it.  We need to make that decision daily – the guest who was not wearing the wedding garment reflects those of us who accept His invitation one day but not the next.  That ain’t gonna cut it.

 

The famous NBA coach, Pat Riley, always told his players: “There are only two options regarding commitment.  You’re either in or you’re out.  There’s no such thing as life in between.”  So what is it?  Are you in or are you out?  Your choice. 

 

Let’s be all in and smile at God today!