Whom does God love? The answer is absolutely everybody! Our long, complicated Gospel tells us that God invites EVERYONE to his heavenly banquet. It doesn’t matter where they live, what color they are, or anything else: all are invited.
In the scriptures, sharing food is a sign of close identity and acceptance. The epitome of sharing food is a banquet, which is sharing food at a special occasion, such as a wedding. God wants everyone to be happy with him forever: he wants us at his
heavenly banquet. That is why it is unacceptable to be prejudiced against anyone: we are all God’s children.
God wants us. He invites us. But we, for our part, have to wear the wedding garment to get in. Our Gospel sounds harsh, having the man who was invited in off the street, with no warning, thrown out because he wasn’t wearing proper attire. But Jesus’ audience would have known that garments were handed out at the door, if needed. The man had a garment: he chose not to wear it.
So, what do we have to do? What is the wedding garment that God asks us to wear, in order to enter his heavenly banquet? The answer is simply how we treat others: love one another as I love you. Over and over in the Gospel, Jesus models for us love of his Father, shown in His love for others. Even those who crucified him! At the last judgment, we will be wearing the wedding garment if we can claim that we did what Jesus was saying: when I was hungry, you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me to drink… He will then be able to say to us, “now enter in to the home of my heavenly Father.” In other words, welcome to the heavenly banquet.
I invite us this week to reflect on how well we are living the law of love. That is our wedding garment!
Church sign of the week: God expects spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.