The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
October 15, 2023 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 22:1-14
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Weddings are generally important social events. And the manner in which the wedding is enacted and celebrated is what should be judged as most important. But also, on a lesser scale, is the list of those relatives, friends and associates who are invited to attend. In medieval times, the list of invitees was largely determined by social class. Even seating arrangements were prescribed. No one was allowed to be “out of place.”
Today, however, there’s more creativity and variety entailed in weddings. In general, they come in all styles and shapes. Recently, our family was present to celebrate the wedding of one of our daughters. Besides family, there was a rich variety of friends in attendance. Some from the couple’s work life. Some longtime schoolmates. There might even have been a wedding-crasher or two.
It took place outside with the garage transformed into a bar, a neighbor’s yard (with a great view of the mountains) into a chapel, a side yard became the dining area and as the bar became more popular, the driveway became a somewhat wild dance floor. And a very accommodating Mother Nature smiled overhead into the night.
Jesus knew the importance of weddings in his time and often connected wedding celebrations with his teachings.
He performed his first miracle during a wedding feast at Cana. Today’s parable notes that there are two parts to participating in a wedding. Being invited is first, and second is actual attendance. God’s invitation to live a full life of love and service, especially to those in need, is at the heart of life in God’s world. God gives life freely and lovingly and invites all to do the same for others.
We have all been invited to the feast of life, which unfolds during each and every day of our lives. The issue of importance remains the same. Are we going to make the effort to attend and fully participate in the wedding feast?
I used to have a small wall banner that read: Happiness is noticing each sunrise and knowing who to thank. In a similar spirit we might add that living life to its fullest is to recognize each and every opportunity that comes our way to love and serve others, and to respond to it with a full and generous heart. And enjoy the feast.
David M. Thomas, PhD