Gospel / Matthew 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.”
I’ll be honest, while a phone ringing at Mass can distract me for a moment, as a Parent, Son, Friend, Boss, Husband, Colleague, Ministry Leader, etc., I understand why we sometimes need to keep the ringer on during Mass. While it’s sometimes just a miss on our parts to turn-off our phones (we’re human, remember) and “vibrate” is another option, I know what it’s like to need to be available 24 hours. It might be an ailing Relative or Friend. It might be a pregnant acquaintance that you’ve promised to come-over to babysit while the expecting Parents jump in a car after a water’s been broken. It might be a babysitter’s call. Or, it could be the results that you’re desperately waiting on from a biopsy. I think you get the point. Our Faith in God is no different than the cell phones in our pockets or purses. We must always be vigilant for the call of God. He might come when we least expect Him to. But, like the 10 bridesmaids with their oil lamps (see below). We don’t want to miss this call, so we must keep our Spiritual “cell phones” (Souls) alert and at the highest ringer volumes possible. God offers us Eternity if we will only seek, honor, and love Him. Or, as we often say at MAC, we must seek to listen, trust, and obey….
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! There will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.