Sunday, July 23, 2006

What Makes Us "Worthy"?

In reading Matthew 22.1-10, I was struck by what should be fairly obvious, but something we often stumble over.

"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests."

Who were the worthy guests?

The parable answers this in the negative: the bidden guests were not worthy because they refused the invitation.

The other sins (including killing the King's servants) stem from their "making light of" the invitation given to the wedding feast.

I think it's one of those felicitous words of the gospel that those gathered together at the wedding included bad and good: bad that we might not despair of our sins keeping us from receiving God's invitation.

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