Gospel Matt 22:1-14
1 Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
3 He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. 4 A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ 5 Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
9 Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ 10 The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.
11 But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. 12 The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence. 13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ 14 Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
A young man entered college to fulfill his dream of becoming an architect, and initially he succeeded in his studies. He really enjoyed college, and made many friends during the first semester. Even though he was only a freshman, he was invited to many parties. Because of attending parties, the second semester ended up not going so well. He was more into socializing with friends instead of studying, and what studying he did was short of cramming. On the day of a mid-term exam, he scurried out of bed to get to there on time. The syllabus stated if a student was late for an exam, the exam would have to be made up with a percentage of the score deducted from 100% based upon the amount of time late. He barely made it to the exam before the materials were passed out.
He figured he would be able to pass the exam because he had showed up to at least half of the class sessions and took decent notes. For this exam he did not study for the exam thinking he could answer the questions based on what he thought he remembered from his notes and other things from the lectures when attending class. Unfortunately, most of the questions on the exam had to deal with material he missed when not attending class. Only a third of the questions pertained to the material in his notes. He recognized those questions, but had not studied enough to answer every question correctly. Needless to say, he failed the exam, and flunked out of college.
The most important events in life take being prepared for them. The Gospel reading from Matthew speaks to being prepared. The man in the street invited to the wedding feast shows up without a wedding garment, which is required to attend the wedding celebration. The man was not prepared for the wedding feast, therefore put back on the street. The college student did not devote the proper amount of time to studying for his courses, and his lack of preparedness resulted in failing exams and flunking out of college after only one year.
Unlike the person in the street and the college student, it is not always easy to be prepared for situations in life, but we should try to be. Not every situation is like an exam. We might be thrown into a situation which catches us off guard, yet when we have the “know how” we will be able to achieve what is supposed to happen. Let’s take the example of someone driving down the road and a tire goes flat. People generally do not check their tires for leaks every time they get into their car to go somewhere, and even if they did they might run over a nail to cause a tire to go flat. So now a tire has gone flat… The “know how” would be understanding how to remove the tire to put on the spare or temporary tire. Learning how to do that would at least be some preparation because the problem would be addressed easier. If the person did not know how to change the tire out for the spare, they would have to get help from someone else or possibly be stranded. Someone with the knowledge of how to change a tire should recognize the person needs help and change the tire for them.
What are you doing to prepare yourself? Have you studied for your exam? Have you checked your tires? Are you ready, prepared, and able to go out into the world and be a witness for Our Lord? Are you dressed in your wedding garments?