‘Wearing the Right Clothes’
The last three Sundays we have had some perhaps shocking parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is on God’s terms and the question is, will we accept it or not? It is a decision upon which our eternal destiny depends.
Today’s Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) gives us an image of God who calls all people to share a great feast with Him, but unfortunately He doesn’t get the response He is looking for. The banquet is ready, yet very few are actually interested in coming. Some it just doesn’t suit them, while others were downright wicked. Their hearts and minds have been darkened by sin. But Our Lord is very patient with us and He goes on calling us while we remain on this earth. Hell, symbolised here by darkness and the “weeping and grinding of teeth” exists because God respects our freedom to choose.
There will also be people who want to come in to the feast only on their own terms. They are symbolised by the man wearing the wrong clothes. “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And he was subsequently thrown out because he wasn’t ‘wearing the right clothes’ meaning he wasn’t in a state of grace and he had no good works. We have to be prepared to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and if we’re wise we will be making those preparations now. Am I in a state of grace and striving to live my life in a way which is pleasing to God, or are worldly things more attractive and important? Do I give in easily to sinful desires? Am I acknowledging JESUS as Lord and following His example by living out my faith and doing good deeds in His Name? Or am I continually putting things off until next week, next month or next year?
Now is the time to act and become a saint. We should not think this is ridiculous because Our Lord told us we have to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). If it wasn’t attainable for us He would never have said it. Every opportunity we’re given in life to do good or help someone else is actually a gift and a blessing, because it allows us to continue working on our wedding garment, to grow in grace and merit. It is important to be in a state of grace, otherwise our good works have no supernatural value and they merit us nothing for Heaven. If we lose the state of grace, we should go to Confession as soon as possible. You need the ‘right clothes’ to get into Heaven and we can only put them on in this life. Confessions are every Saturday morning 10.30-11.30am or by appointment. Make sure your wardrobe is in order!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC