Today’s Gospel describes a ROYAL WEDDING in which those who were privileged to be invited “ignored” the invitation, or didn’t bother to reply and went about their own concerns. The king became enraged by the arrogance of the guests, punished them, and extended the invitation to others who would welcome the opportunity to be included in such a magnificent event.

The parable today is the third parable addressed to the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Priests who would reject Jesus and demand His Crucifixion. It is another parable about their rejection of Jesus’ invitation into the Kingdom of God. This time He says, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet…”

They know that they had been invited by Jesus to participate in the kingdom of heaven on earth. But they have ignored the invitation and gone about pursuing their own personal power.

They have been responsible for killing the messengers – The Prophets – especially John the Baptist – who had been sent by God to remind them of their infidelity; and they are secretly plotting the death of Jesus Himself.

Jesus warns them that they too will suffer the righteous anger of God who will punish their arrogance and extend His invitation beyond the “chosen people” to those who will respond with gratitude and commitment.

God wills to save all people from every time and place. We are all given the same chance – the same opportunity to respond to that call. But having the chance is not enough: we have to seize the chance to respond positively – because this might be our only chance – our last chance.

All the guests invited to the wedding feast of the king’s son had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be guests in the kingdom, but they didn’t seize the opportunity – they didn’t take time to reflect on the great gift they had been offered.

When we get so involved in our own interests and pursuits, we become like today’s invited guests – we put the invitation to one side, and assign a higher priority to other “things that catch our interest and become more important to us”.

In today’s parable, the king not only invited everyone to the wedding feast but also sent proper clothes to those who could not afford them. One person refused to dress properly. He wanted to come to the wedding feast but on his own terms. For insulting the king, that person was bound hand and foot and expelled from the banquet.

As we think about our own lives and the invitation we have received to participate in the banquet of the kingdom, do we insist on following God on our own terms, or do we accept the terms offered to us by Jesus? To accept the terms of Jesus requires us to keep our focus on God’s will for us rather than our own.

Jesus is asking us – inviting us once again – to come in haste to God’s kingdom. Our presence is requested urgently. The decision is up to us. To accept the invitation can only cause us joy; because even though it will inevitably take us to the foot of the Cross, the Cross will lead us to eternal life – not death.

In this Mass, we have accepted Jesus’ invitation to the Wedding Feast of new life: everything is ready – everything is here! This Mass is all we need! As we participate, here – we participate not as mere spectators but as specially invited guests – close friends of the king. May we always treasure the relationship we have with the King so that we will always be invited to His Feast of life.