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Only God is Enough

Updated: Oct 15

Mt. 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, "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. A second time he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast."' Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.' The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' Many are invited, but few are chosen."

The movie The Greatest Showman tells a powerful story of a man who had to overcome tremendous obstacles to take care of his family and do something amazing with his life, beginning a whole new type of circus. And yet, one of the refrains of his life is expressed through the words: “never enough.” For so many of us, these words echo in our minds and hearts as well. We fear that we are “never enough.” Today’s Gospel gives us a clue about how to establish our identity in God and know that He is enough.

When is the last time you were mad at God, or at least disappointed? If we are going to have a personal relationship with God, we have to treat it like a relationship. Yet so often, we get this concept stuck in our imagination that we cannot have a real relationship with him. We cannot feel offended, or angry, or upset. I do not think this is what God wants. He wants to have a real relationship with us, so he wants to help us work through the negative feelings, not repress them. Now, we have to recognize that we are not on equal footing with God. He is the Creator of the universe; we are his creatures. And yet, we need to allow ourselves to enter into relationship with him. Our worth comes from God’s gift and we signal our acceptance through putting on the wedding garment.

We are not worthy of the gifts the Lord gives us. The first ones invited to the wedding banquet decide not to come. Throughout the centuries, fathers of the Church have seen this as an image of the Gentiles being invited to salvation. In ancient times, religion was very local and ethnic. One interesting reading perspective of the Old Testament is to see the increasing universality of the message of salvation. This reaches its fulfillment in the Gospel message of Christ. Even though most of us do not belong ethnically to the Chosen People, through our Baptism and membership in the Church, we are able to participate in the true wedding banquet that is our living out of our Catholic faith.

Our salvation is a gift. This comes out at the beginning and at the end of today’s Gospel. The wedding feast is an image of the largesse of God. We are invited to enter into a relationship with God by giving him the gift of our trust in him. “If you trust in the Lord, you will sever the root of that which destroys you. Believe that He loves you.” (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, loc. 776 Kindle edition) The world wants to trick us into thinking that God does not care about us. But he is the one who loves us beyond our wildest imagination.

We have to put on the wedding garment. On our own, we are not enough, but the wedding garment is a sign that God makes us enough through his grace. Too often, we want to determine all of the circumstances. We fear to trust God because we want to put all of our trust in ourselves. The first people invited to the wedding feast in today’s Gospel seem uninterested in the gift. We can fall into this attitude all too easily. “The words, I am afraid to turn everything over to God, hurt like a slap in the face because they are as if you were saying to God, I don’t trust you; I do not know what You are going to do to me.” (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, loc. 784 Kindle edition) We fall into a bad attitude with God. So much of our spiritual life is growing in awareness and growing in trust. “Distrust, in a certain way, is worse than sin because it is the root and source of sin.” (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, loc. 784 Kindle edition)

To put on the wedding garment is to take the path of spiritual childhood instead of spiritual old age. “An ‘old’ person – someone who relies on his own calculations, who lists pros and cons – limits the possibility for God to act and sets limits on His love and mercy.” (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, loc. 805 Kindle edition) God wants us to receive his gifts. “A child grasps for the moon and believes that he will get it – and God wants to give you more than the moon.” (Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, loc. 805 Kindle edition)

So many people today feel unworthy of God. Crises from the past, failed relationships, and painful experiences of Church have eroded their trust in God. It is important for us to recognize the gift of God’s relationship that he is trying to give us. We do this by putting on the wedding garment, fostering in ourselves a childlike trust in God. Take some time, speak with God, and let him know that he is enough for you. And let him give you the confidence to see yourself as worthy of his love. Only God is enough.

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