The parable of the king’s banquet is meant be a commentary on the words: “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it. (Matthew 21:43)” . The main point of the parable is found in the latter part, about the king who discovers that a man without a wedding garment was able to get into the banquet. Read the article about The Wedding Garment or check out the articles listed below and use the rest of this page as your guide.
- Parable of the Wedding Banquet
- Mag-aral Tayo: Ang Talinghaga tungkol sa Piging at sa Damit Pangkasal
- Marami ang Tinawag Nguni’t Kakaunti ang Hinirang
1. We have associated the saying “Many are called but few are chosen” to the priesthood and the religious life. We don’t often think of it in terms of our own life as Christians. We take it for granted that once baptized we have the responsibility to grow in the baptized life.
Reflect: In Revelations 19:7-9 we find this passage:
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure” — for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
The Church, the Bride of the Lamb — we ourselves — will be clothed in “the righteous deeds of the saints”. In the baptismal rite, this is symbolized by the white robe — “the outward sign of your Christian dignity” — which the priest told us we should bring unsullied, “unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.” How have you carried your dignity as Christian through out your pilgrimage here?
2. “Are you saved?” That is normally one of the questions asked by some fundamentalist sects who have been made to think that Catholics are not saved. If your reaction to the questions is bewilderment, then you are no different from the other Catholics who’ve been asked the same question. The fact is, we never think of the question because by our baptism, we are already saved. Our problem is how to remain saved. Perseverance in grace is our main concern. “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” Paul would say (Phil. 2:12). Most of us were saved when we were infants, a testimony to the utter gratuitousness of the salvation received in Christ. Through the instructions received, from our parents, we began to learn what our faith meant and when we reached the age of reason, it became a yearly event for us to renew our baptismal vows on Easter, making it our own.
Reflect. Try to remember all the activities in Church that you began attending as a child: the catechisms, the novenas to the saints, the expositions of the blessed sacrament, the rosaries, the bible studies — all these were meant to help you persevere in the faith: to get to know the Church not only the Church militant (those whom you see at Mass every Sunday), but also the Church triumphant (the saints whom you find represented in sculptures and paintings in your Church building or home altars), and to be aware of the Church suffering (the souls in purgatory, for whom we pray at Mass) and to grow in consciousness who we are before the Lord’s eyes. This is our Catholic famlily, the same ones who will become the spotless bride of Christ. But to remain in that family and to continue our pilgrimage through this “vale of tears” with them perseveringly until the end is our present task.
Are you saved? The question rather should be: How are you persevering in the Christian life? What helps are you employing so that you can “work out your salvation”?
3. The man without the wedding garment represents the Christian who throughout his life has not cultivated the “virtuous deeds of the saints”. The king tells his deacons to bind him up and throw him where there is “wailing and gnashing of teeth”, the place of those who should be in the banquet but have shown themselves unworthy of it.
Reflect. In two previous parables where the phrase “wailing and gnashing of teeth is used” we have the image of the weeds who have been mixed with the wheat and the bad fish mixed in with the good ones (parable of the dragnet) and the people they symbolize as suffering the fate of those excluded from the kingdom. In subsequent parables, the phrase will also describe the place of the servants who don’t do their jobs and those who hide their talents. From these occurences, we understand that the phrase is meant as a stern warning to anyone who neglects to put into practise the things heard from the Lord about discipleship, true religion, living in community, etc.
What are your present difficulties in the Christian life? How are you resolving them? What areas in your life do you think need improvements?