28th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Called to the Marriage…”
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come…” Matthew 22:1f
The king called the guests to come to the marriage of his son. This intro is laden with theological ramifications… Given the way the allegory works, Jesus is the bridegroom. God called the called guests. They refused.
Matthew understands the call of the king as going out to sinners who, if and when they/we respond, will follow as disciples. Now, since Jesus is in Jerusalem contending with the chief priests and Pharisees, this seems like a pretty bold intrusion on their turf. Right?
Matthew 4:21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.
Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
The Point: Jesus told the chief priests and Pharisees this parable to get their attention. It’s his tough love and powerful mercy that attempts to elicit their reactions so that they can recognize their inner violence, their self-protective strategies, and their lust for power.
What I understand begins to unfold here is the resistance of scribes, chief priests, Pharisees, and elders to take account of the patterned reactions in their inner worlds. They react in anger and violence to someone who had the audacity to challenge their authority, security, reputation, self-esteem, or fundamental self-will.
Let’s see how this plays out this week.