Daily Reflection
August 23rd, 2001
by
Maureen McCann Waldron
The Collaborative Ministry Office
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Judges 11:29-39
Psalms 40:5, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Matthew 22:1-14

In recent years, my attitude toward cooking has changed.  Instead of a nightly chore, it has become an act of love, a gift I offer to my family.  I consider what they like to eat, what time they will be home and if they might like to include a friend.  I set the table and time my special meal to make sure itís hot when they all gather. 

But what if these people I love so much didnít show up?  What if they ignored the care I put into this meal, the special ingredients, the love and prayer I offered as I stirred the pot, the special tablecloth I put out to show them how much I love them?  What if they didnít bother to come to dinner?  What if they were just too busy?

I think that is what Jesus must have been feeling as he told the disciples the parable of the king who gave the wedding feast.  The kingís special invited guests refused to come, begging off with excuses of being busy with work.  Others just ignored the invitation.  Angered, the king sent his servants to scour the countryside and invite everyone they met, good and bad.  He packed his banquet hall for the wedding and asked everyone to celebrate with him.  When one guest refused to dress properly for the wedding, the king ordered him bound and tossed out into the dark alley.

Maybe Jesus is trying to show us that he is inviting us to a lavish banquet, one prepared with love and care for each one of us.  How do we respond?  Are we too busy with work or even family, to pray and talk to God?  Do we show up at Church each week impatiently, hoping only for a quick homily and a fast service?  Do we spend more time watching TV or sitting in front of a computer than we do talking to Jesus?  Are we so caught up in gazing at ourselves as we dress for this dinner of love that we never even leave the house?  I think Jesus is inviting us into a deep caring, a two-way relationship that asks us to give of ourselves, care passionately about our relationship with God and to dine with great joy at the banquet he has set for us. 

Help us, Jesus.  So often we ignore your invitation.  ďIím busy,Ē we cry.  ďMy kids want something from me. Iíve got so much going on at work right now.  My spouse needs me now.  Later.  I promise.Ē  Oh, Jesus, let us see how your love for us is part of a daily relationship of caring, and trusting in you. 

Perhaps we are sometimes like the guest left out in the darkness, wailing and gnashing our teeth, blind to the fact that you stand next to us in the darkness, waiting to lead us back to the meal, if only we will ask.
 

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