Home, Cleansing Water, & a New Spirit

St. Bernard, Abbot & Doctor

It was a light at the end of a long dark tunnel for a people in exile. God would bring them back to their own land, wash them with clean water, and give them a new spirit. And by this “I will prove the holiness of my great name.” A predictable response to betrayal and infidelity is anger and alienation and vengeance. And God does the exact opposite … to prove the holiness of his great name. God does not give up. God will always call us to repentance and reconciliation and renewal. It is in God’s nature to be merciful. And God will find a way.

The parable Jesus tells today is not about us, although human response does play a significant role in the story. Rather it is about God’s call to those he has chosen and invited to share in his life. But those who had been chosen and invited used their freedom to reject God. They just wouldn’t be bothered. They ignored his messengers, mistreated them, killed them. In response the king deals with them harshly. Scripture scholars point to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD that may have influenced the telling of this story.

But the king sends his servants out to find others because those who had been chosen and invited proved themselves unworthy. It was a reference to the rejection of the gospel by Jesus’ own people, and the church’s new outreach to the gentiles. God’s banquet hall will be filled come hell or high water. But those who come to the feast need to be dressed accordingly. Again the harsh detail could have been another separate parable that got mixed in. Nonetheless it is a reminder that even for the new chosen and invited God does not lower the bar. The invitation to share God’s life cannot be taken lightly. Perfection is the standard. God will do the heavy lifting. But we are expected to pull our weight.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Richard Crotty.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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