Eph. 4:23-28; Mt. 22:1-14
You have heard
me say that the Luke remembers Jesus who had an eye for the poor and lowly,
those who know their need for God. All
we have to do is to look at the opening pages of his Gospel. We see the Blessed Mother at the
Annunciation, humble, and the presence of our Lord becomes real in her in His
Incarnation. Luke is the one who
remembers the shepherds at our Lord’s birth, the first to hear the glad tidings
of the savior.
Today, we have
the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew is
writing to the Jewish Christians, the Church, the new Israel, and so we see the
life of the Church in the episodes of his gospel, such as we do today. The King is God the Father. He decides to give a wedding for His
Son. This is the redemption by our
Lord. Of those who were invited, the
people of the religion of Israel, not all accepted, and some of the leaders
killed the messengers. The city is
destroyed. This refers to the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 72.
The import is that the Old Testament temple has been destroyed, and to
this day, no sacrifice has been offered in the religion of Israel. The old covenant has given way to the new
covenant, of the sacrifice of our Lord, which we offer at this and every Mass. Then the King orders that the invitation to
be given to all and the banquet is filled.
But then he sees someone who is not properly dressed for a wedding and
casts him out, and the moral is, “many are called, few are chosen.” Even though we are called, we must be
What is this
garment which qualifies us for entry into the banquet? There is an obvious link between with the
Epistle in the garment which is put on.
This is language from the baptismal rite, as St. Paul is addressing the
newly baptized at Ephesus. After having
been baptized, the neophyte puts on a new white garment, an outward sign of the
inner transformation which has taken place by faith and baptism. St. Paul says, “Put on the new man.” Christ is the New Adam, and so we, baptized
in Him, are new persons, and so we live a certain way.
There are many
moral imperatives in the Epistles of St. Paul, and we would expect that we
would do them because they are the right and good thing. However, here, St. Paul gives us the virtue
to be expressed, but also the interior motivation because of our
conversion. He says do not lie, because
we are members of one another and meet each other with respect and
charity. He says if you are angry, do
not sin. Sometimes we feel upset, but we
are reserved, because anger can cause division and gives Satan a chance to
work. He says do not steal, but be about
honest work, so that we may give something to those in need. Our inner conversion gives outward expression
to the virtues which are like a garment adorning the person of faith.
And so the
garment of the Gospel is the baptismal garment.
This is our entry into the life of God, the life of the Church, and,
well lived, lets us be not only called but chosen, with a place in the Kingdom