Thursday, August 23, 2012

Here Comes the Bride

Seems to me that today's Mass readings work better together if you read them backwards from the way they are proclaimed in the Liturgy, starting with the Gospel which sets the stage: "The Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a King who gave a wedding feast for his Son..."

The whole of creation is that feast, meant for the Son, providing not just the food, but the Bride. And yet, as the Gospel continues, the invited guests were curiously uninterested--and even hostile to the invitation-bearing royal messengers! And so the guest list was expanded until anyone and everyone was in that great hall. Here the parable sounds suspiciously like the one about the weeds and the wheat, or the dragnet that hauls in all manner of things that have to be sorted out. And that sorting will be done by the King Himself, using His own criteria.

But not without hope!

That's where the first reading fits in so well, turning what could be a very gloomy picture ("cast him into the outer darkness where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth") into a hopeful one. Ezekiel says that all this "sorting out" is really God reversing the profanation of His Name by His careless, sinful people. He will restore them to the Great Hall; He will cleanse them of their impurities and idols; He will even give them new hearts and put His own Spirit in them! "You will be my people, and I will be your God."

Let the wedding song begin!

No comments: