Matthew 22:1-14 2023/09/10 Osaka Church
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Today’s Gospel is a parable told by Jesus. Many people had been invited to the wedding feast the king was throwing for the prince, but when the king’s servants came calling and said, “The feast is ready,” they went out to work in the fields or do business. , pretending not to know. In the end, they are insulted and killed. The same story that Luke conveys specifically conveys their objections. “I have to go check out the land I bought.” “I’m going to go check out the cows I got.” Or “I just got married…”
Why did they refuse? It’s the prince’s wedding. It must have been a grand party, filled with drinking, eating, singing, dancing. But they all refused.
I guess it can’t be helped since they had something to do. …But is that really the case?
They were invited in advance. It’s a wedding. I’ve never received an invitation like “I’m getting married next week. Please join” Invitations were probably sent out months ago. They could have asked someone to do the field work for them, and they could have rescheduled business meetings, field work, and cattle inspections to another day. “I just got married…” is no excuse at all. …They didn’t want to go. Why?
This is a parable. Participating in the “wedding feast” means believing and receiving the grace of salvation accomplished by Christ, God. It is for people who have been gathered around Christ, the Son of God, to enter into the joy of fellowship that is centered around Christ. Eternal life is abundant there. What is there is the “Kingdom of God” in full light. Why wouldn’t they want to go to such a nice place?
Because they don’t know. If they knew the splendor of the feast and the joy it brought them, they would drop all their work in the fields, business negotiations, and everything else…and if they were newlyweds, they would rush to the party, even dragging their wives with them. …the King, God has made all the arrangements and invited them, and they are not asked for any fees or blessings…
Before His Passion on the Cross, Christ shared the Last Supper with His disciples. There we will see the body and blood of the Lord who was offered on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, torn open and shed there, and the resurrection of the Lord who rose from the grave on the third day after being buried. “Life” was shared in advance as bread and wine. People were reconnected to God and to each other, and the “world” symbolized by bread and wine was once again made into an offering of thanksgiving to God. At this time, the “Kingdom of God” was revealed as a small supper. Christ commanded. “Keep doing this.”
The Church will continue to celebrate this Last Supper as commanded by the Lord. That is this gathering, the Divine Liturgy. If you forget everything and surrender to the taste of the “Kingdom of God” and open your heart to it, this taste will continue to deepen. The joy there is the joy of God. In response to God’s invitation to “enter into my joy,” we make God’s joy our own and praise Him “with one mouth and with one heart.”
When Christ saw the man who had been lying by the pond for thirty-eight years, waiting for a miracle(John5:1-8), he first asked: “Do you really want to get better?” When a person standed up after lying down for a long time, he had experience severe pain all over his body. It might had been easier for him not to heal. The Lord also taught a man who asked him what he should do to obtain “eternal life”: “Forsake everything, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.” It may be easier to continue living as usual than to follow Christ. I’m sure it’ll be easy. No, it’s decided easily.
However, many people who believed in the Lord gave up that “ease” and ran headlong toward that taste, that joy, without fearing even death. Was it because their faith was unusually strong? wrong. They gathered daily for the Divine Liturgy, inheriting the Lord’s Supper, and knew in advance the joy and taste of it as a taste of the promised “Kingdom of God.” It never occurred to them to refuse the king’s banquet. The same is promised to us. However, God cannot decide whether to believe it or accept it. It depends on each of us.