Matthew 22: 1-14
To be invited to a wedding feast would be a surprise for most of the poor people who came and listened to Jesus. A wedding feast would be beyond the means of most of them and you got an invitation to the feast if you were one of the friends of the king.
But Jesus also addressed the parable of the banquet to the religious leaders who would probably get any number of invitations to banquets.
In the parable the invited make all sorts of excuses to avoid the banquet; some maltreat and kill the king’s messengers. So the king sends out his servants to invite those in the highways and byways – not ordinarily invited to banquets. And the hall is filled.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like that kind of banquet where God does not want any empty seats. For the peasants of Galilee this would have been an impossible dream – but it is the dream of God.
Yet there is a discordant note. There is a man without a wedding garment.
The poor invited to the banquet would obviously not have good clothes to wear. I believe, the king would have offered everyone a tunic to wear, where all would be equal.
But what is this wedding garment?
In this both, Saint Augustine and Blessed Monseñor Romero agree.
The wedding garment is love.
In Sermon 90, Saint Augustine preached:
“Whatever can this wedding garment be? For an answer we must go to the apostle [Paul}, who says, ‘The purpose of our command is to arouse the love that springs from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.” Only that kind of love is the wedding garment.”
In his homily on October 15, 1978, Monseñor Romero said:
“God desires the garment of justice. God wants Christians to clothe themselves in the garment of love.”
All are invited; all are welcome; but the God of Love, who offers us love and will fill us with love, asks that we put on love.