This parable of the wedding feast is the focus of this week’s readings. The king has prepared a lavish feast for his guests, but those you would expect to attend refuse to come. So he invites anyone and everyone. Of course the feast we are truly talking about here is the heavenly banquet. Those whom you would have thought would have the front seats (the religious leaders of Jesus’ time for example) turn their backs and don’t show. The invitation is extended to all. Some come but do nothing to prepare. In order to properly attend the feast, some preparation is necessary. Jesus comes to us to help us in our preparations, both paying for our admission and providing us with directions. We must prepare through our prayers, our care for the poor, our development of virtuous lives and our conversion of attitude and heart.
As Vincentians, we are provided a pathway toward this preparation if we but chose to follow it. Through our ministry to those in need, we are given the opportunity to follow the model of Jesus in mercy and compassion. Through our ministry, we learn much about humility, patience, gentleness and selflessness – all part of the virtuous life we seek. Do we take the opportunity to respond to the invitation that God places before us in our ministry? Do we center ourselves in prayer? Do we grow in virtue that we may become more like Christ every day? Do we ‘dress’ ourselves properly that we might be welcome guests at the heavenly feast?
Father, I thank you for the invitation to your great feast. Help me to prepare that I might be a welcome and worthy guest. Dress me in a virtuous life robed in humility, patience, gentleness and love of others. Give me the courage and strength to remain ever faithful to you in prayer, constantly seeking your will for myself and others. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen