In the Bible, the wedding feast and the banquet are used to describe the union between God and his People. The Kingdom of God is comparable to the wedding feast for the King’s son to which all are invited.
The addition concerning the wedding garment (22, 11-14), found only in Matthew, serves as a warning for the faithful who do not respect the conditions necessary for entry into the Kingdom. Thus the parable is directed towards God’s judgment concerning the comportment of the guests : being invited to the feast, being called, does not automatically mean that one is admitted. Everything depends on the way each one personally answers the call.
After the parable of the murderous vinedressers which was a warning against killing the son, the parable of the wedding banquet introduces the theme of the Messianic banquet foretold by Isaiah. The Gospel has already presented Jesus as the Bridegroom in this surprising feast (cf. Mt 9, 15). The link between the feast and the Kingdom will be evoked again by Jesus on the eve of his Passion, during the Last Supper.
But today the feast is already prepared. Twice servants have been sent to invite the guests. Unanimously, they refuse the first invitation. They have not understood the huge gift in this invitation to enter the Kingdom. The second time, the invitation is treated by some as not as important as the daily tasks of life like the security of their routine. Others refuse the invitation outright, a refusal that leads to the murder of the servants. And so the verdict falls : those invited are unworthy. They will have no part in the wedding feast, while those who weren’t even invited are going to fill the hall. And then, there is one who has not put on the wedding garment...
This last episode is a warning for the faithful who do not respect the conditions necessary for entry into the Kingdom. The guest who has not the proper dress is there like a stranger, an intruder. He is chased out. The parable is thus transformed into God’s judgment on the guests : to be invited, to be called, does not imply that entry is guaranteed. Everything depends on the way each one positions her/himself with regard to the call. The wedding feast is ready : put on your wedding robe !
We are invited to celebrate God in thanksgiving for all He has done for us : death for our sin, access to divine life. Today, we have to welcome God’s gift of salvation, open ourselves to God’s joy, to praise for the gracious gift of divine life which inhabits each life and can transform it. In the depths of our daily life, we are called to receive the gift of God manifested in his Son.
May the prayer of Isaiah become the prayer of our lips : Here is our God in whom we have hoped, and awaited. And He has saved us. Truly, this is the Lord in whom we have hoped. Let us exult and rejoice for we have been saved