You're invited to the Wedding Feast!
I have discussed William Holman Hunt’s painting, The Light of the World, in the past, but I felt that this best illustrates the implications in this Sunday’s parable.
In viewing Hunt’s painting, we see that it is night. The landscape in the background is uncultivated and wild. It is in this dark and hostile environment that Jesus stands at the door, a lantern in his left hand and knocking on the door with his right.
The door symbolizes our human free will. Notice that there is no outer doorknob…it can only be opened by us, from the inside. During the dark of night, a wandering stranger would look for light coming from inside the house, but in this instance, the light comes from outside. It is Jesus, the Light of the World, knocking on the door. He waits for us to freely respond so he can bring His light into this place of darkness.
Today’s Gospel speaks about a wedding banquet. This symbolizes the marriage between Jesus (the bridegroom) and the people (the bride of Christ) – the New Covenant. Wedding banquets are an occasion for joy, and the King invites the people to come and partake, to experience the joy of His Son’s wedding. Yet one after another refuse to receive this joy.
Oftentimes, when we discuss our faith with people, some roll their eyes, some just walk away, some switch to another topic. However, if we talk to people about an upcoming weekend event or a good football game with a tailgate party, the conversation goes on and on. The excitement is high for weekend festivities, yet it is a real struggle to get fired up for Sunday Mass – which is the wedding feast of God’s Only Son!
I often hear people say, “God won’t condemn me to hell just because I don’t go to Sunday Mass” or “God understands when I am busy.” It may be true that a person won’t go to hell just for missing Sunday Mass, but that is not the point! God’s very first of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Prioritizing other things over Sunday Mass is certainly not putting God first! When we put God first, then we honor Him by “remembering the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
God guides us and gives us these commands out of His boundless love for us, showing us how to live a better and fuller life now and to please God forever. To love God is to put God first – especially if for only one day, one hour a week!!!