Daily Gospel Reflection - Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable that compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. The guests invited to the feast refuse to come. There are a number of sayings and parables of Christ that emphasize the difficulty in attaining the kingdom of heaven. Thus, Jesus declares: “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
These sayings represent one of the great paradoxes of the Gospel: though the kingdom dwells in every one of us—though it is closer to us than our breath—we remain in danger of missing it.
It is no wonder that Jesus often compares the spiritual struggle to a battle to the death: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat.” “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” It is a terrible and heart-rending inner warfare that must be endured in the process of metanoia.