By José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Mt 22: 1-14
Through His parables, Jesus reveals to His followers how He experiences God, how He interprets life from its deepest roots, and how He responds to the most hidden enigmas of the human condition.
Anyone who comes in living contact with His parables starts to change. Something "happens" within us. God is not as we imagined Him. Life is greater and more mysterious than our normal daily routine. It's possible to live with a new end in sight. Let's listen to the starting point of the parable called "The Wedding Banquet".
According to the story, God is preparing a final feast for all His sons and daughters, since He wants to see all of them seated with Him around the same table, enjoying the fullness of life forever. It is one of Jesus' most cherished images to hint at the ultimate end of human history.
Contrary to so many mean images of a controlling and stern God who stops many people from savoring faith and enjoying life, Jesus introduces into the world the experience of a God who is inviting us to share a fraternal feast with Him, the culmination of our best efforts, hopes and aspirations.
Jesus devoted His whole life to spreading the great invitation of God: "The banquet is prepared. Come." This message is His way of proclaiming God. Jesus doesn't preach doctrine; He awakens the desire for God. He doesn't impose or pressure us. He invites and calls us. He frees us from fear and kindles trust in God. In His name, He welcomes sinners and undesirables to His table. His invitation goes out to all.
The men and women of today need to discover the Mystery of God as Good News. We Christians have to learn to talk about Him in a language that is more inspired in Jesus, to undo misunderstandings, clear up prejudices, and get rid of fears that have been introduced by a regretable religious discourse that has alienated many from this God who is waiting for us with everything prepared for the final feast.
In these times when the discrediting of religion is blocking many from hearing God's invitation, we have to talk about His Mystery of Love with humility and respect for all, without compelling consciences, without smothering life, awakening the desire for truth and light that is still alive in the innermost part of the human being.
It's true that the religious call today is met with rejection by many, but God's invitation hasn't died out. All those who in the depths of their conscience can hear the call to goodness, love, and justice, can hear it.