To respond to God’s love today, I will accept willingly any difficulty or hardship that comes my way
Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present here as I turn to you in prayer. I trust and
have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive today. Thank you for your
love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life and my love in
Petition: Father, help me to prepare you sent your Son to prepare us to be
received into your heavenly kingdom.
, where you will
share with us an infinite abundance of your love and joy. Grant me every grace I need to respond to
this marvelous offer of your generosity.
1. A Banquet beyond
Belief: In Palestine during Christ’s time, few festive celebrations rivaled any wedding
banquet, let alone a royal one. A wedding was a joyous time, the greatest moment in the lives of the
newlyweds. For a royal wedding, it was the greatest moment in the life of the whole kingdom. With
his parable of the royal wedding banquet, Christ is giving us a sense of the heaven that he is
preparing for us. He is telling each of us, “There is nothing greater than what I want to celebrate
with you in eternity!” So if any of our ideas of heaven include something that doesn’t seem
attractive or worth-while, we haven’t yet understood heaven. We should ask Christ to give us a
glimpse of the joy he wants us to have with him in heaven.
2. Worthy Is as Worthy Does: The
king sent invitations to many people, but the response was not what he had hoped for. They rejected
his generosity, preferring their own less-than-stellar lives (one went off to his farm, another to
attend to some business) over accepting the invitation and participating in the king’s rejoicing. Of
course, none of them really deserved to be invited: They hadn’t made themselves worthy by some merit
of their own. The king invited them out of his generosity. What made them truly unworthy was their
lack of response to this generosity. Their “worthiness” was a gift given to them freely, and it was
only lost only when they refused the gift. Had they responded, they would have remained in the
king’s good graces and would have shared in the joy of the banquet—a joy they could not otherwise
have had. Christ is showing us that our worthiness for his eternal banquet doesn’t come through our
own efforts; it comes as a gift that simply needs to be responded to. We might ask ourselves, “Am I
worthy of heaven?” If we are honest, we realize that the answer is “No.” But in Christ’s eyes,
that’s not the important question. The real question is, “Am I responding to and accepting the gifts
he has already extended to me?”
3. Underdressed for the Occasion: It is embarrassing for
both host and guest when a guest arrives at an elegant banquet dressed in shorts and a
t-shirt—thinking he was going to an outdoor pig roast or because he did not know any better. It is
another situation altogether when the guest intentionally doesn’t dress up because he doesn’t care,
or is presumptuous. Then the host is offended, not just embarrassed. In this parable the king is
offended because the guest knew he needed to wear a wedding robe and chose not to. Living in God’s
sanctifying grace and friendship is the wedding robe we need to wear in order to be received into
the eternal banquet. Christ is warning us against the ultimate pride of presumption: showing up at
heaven’s gate without the one thing we know we need in order to share in Christ’s joy. If we strive
every day to please our Lord and to live in his grace, we’ll have our wedding gown ready for the
banquet. We’ll be properly dressed for the occasion.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, the gift of heaven you have gained for
me is beyond any merit of my own, but it shows me how great your generosity is. When I look at you
hanging on the cross, there too I see how great your generosity is: You were willing to do that for
me so that I could have this gift of heaven—that I don’t even deserve. How can I not but thank you?
How can I not but strive each day to respond to and accept with joyful humility all the graces you
want to give me, even when it is most difficult for me? Thank you for your love!
To respond to God’s love today, I will accept willingly any difficulty or hardship that
comes my way.