Welcome to my blog this evening , a reflection on tomorrow's Holy Gospel "The Wedding"
St. Matthew xxii. 1.
JESUS 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. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding-garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
Have a look at the verses 11-13. What a nightmare! In a room full of company we are certainly catching all the attention.
We realize that we are naked, without the appropriate clothes and we flee or are thrown out of the room. Caught out because of our sins.
No, we are definately not ready at all.
The readings and the collect for this Sunday all do cover this " readiness ".In the Epistle from blessed Saint Paul we are being asked to walk circumspectly. That means to walk carefully, being aware of the dangers surrounding us, and the collect "Almighty God. . . keep us. . .from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done." Here it is again, protection is sought from danger.
So.. we need to be ready for an unexpected call. Take our death for instance. In the course of modern day life and its hectic pace, we might not spend too much time thinking about this. I have heard stories where patients are seriously ill and have not got long to live and the doctors in question dont take the time to explain the seriousness of the situation. It is very striking that the Clergy in our Churches dont spend too much of their time preaching on this subject and on the fact that we need to be ready if God was to call us home. There could be our sudden appearance before the judgement seat of Christ. Are we then ready to give our solemn account?
We do need to be peaceful and penitent to make this our last journey. We should be deeply sensible of the shortness and the uncertainty of human life.
What is required is a readiness for all the demands of life, a preparation such that we will have the capacity to act rightly and cheerfully no matter what demands are made upon us. One might call this a readiness both for life and death.
The clothing offered to cover our weakness is our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle tells us “to put on our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole armour of God that we may be ready and able to stand.” (Ephesians 6.11)
But we must build on the foundation of theological virtues if we are to be ready for everything. We must build up the powers, the virtues, the habits which make us able to control and direct our actions.This is something which occupies every moment of our life. It has to do with our education, at home, at school, and at church. In these places, we acquire the mental, emotional and physical powers and habits which must serve us during a whole life time.
If we put on our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be able to stand against all the fiery darts of the evil one and finally, having done all, we will be found standing erect and ready when the King cries “The Wedding is ready, come.”
Then we shall go in with gladness and join in the great banquet and wedding song, singing to God, Father, Son, and Spirit the praise which is his due and giving to him thanksgiving and glory, even as we do now.
Father Ed Bakker,
Priest & Missioner,
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.