There is an abundance of tailors in Bangkok. In one shop window there is quite an amusing slogan, “God made Man, tailor make gentlemen”. The poor guy in today’s gospel parable was thrown out of the wedding banquet for not being properly attired; he did not wear a wedding garment. Either he didn’t have a tailor or he wasn’t a gentleman.
We are born into this world and there is but one target destination of our earthly journey. We want to get into that wedding banquet; we want to enter the kingdom of heaven at the end of our life here. But we need to be clothed in a wedding garment.
To be clothed in the wedding garment is to be clothed in the likeness of Christ. The cut of the cloth is our belief and purity of intention. The cloth itself is our actions of our life in this world. And we are given our entire lifetime to tailor this wedding garment.
This cloth does not come from the cupboard of our material wealth. Neither is it cut from the wealth of our knowledge. Instead it is cut from the poverty of our spirit where we live in the belief of God and allow our life to be the expression of this belief. We are poor in spirit because we are totally dependent on God. And to become an expression of this belief is to make sure our every action in life is an act of true love; unselfish and life-giving.
The invitation to this grand banquet is opened to everybody. In the parable, the king sends his servants out repeatedly to invite the guests to come; God repeatedly calls, reminds and invite us all to enter the kingdom of heaven. Although he really wants us to come, he gives us a free choice.
We have a free choice to choose where we want to go at the end of our life on earth. We have a choice between a worldly life with or without God. We can choose between being interested or not interested. We can choose to allow our work ambitions to take us away from God. We can choose to allow our busy schedules to bury us. So much so that when buried in the choices we make, we become emotionally violent at the mention of God.
We have a lifetime to tailor our wedding garment. Bad choices are not dead choices. They may lead us away but they do not disqualify us. “So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests”. We are given our lifetime to make bad choices into good choices. We are not limited in the number of times we can try. It is just that we don’t know when we will appear at the door of the banquet hall.
At that point, we will have no more time. We must have on our wedding garment. It is made from the fabric of our life, a cloth made and a garment tailored by our good deeds. The love we have for God and for others must flow in the threads that hold the garment together. We have to make sure it’s a well-made garment. For sure, God made Man and he wants to clothe us into fine ladies and gentlemen to join in the wedding banquet.
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time