The Catholic Defender: "Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
January 19, 2019
"Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the 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 the king 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. He 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.” Matthew 22:1-14
Many are invited, but few are chosen is a very interesting statement. Jesus is clearly talking about the Kingdom of heaven (really a depiction of the establishment of the Catholic Church), the invited guests were first the Jews who were the people of the Covenants, the people of Israel. But the Jews rejected Jesus, the true Messiah and so many of them ignored the invitation.
The burning of the city would be a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem that historically took place in 70 A.D. on the 9th of Av (10 August), Tisha b'Av, (2016 the 9th of Av was the evening of August 13 and day of August 14). The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. The ceremonious fast begins with sunset of the first secular date listed, and concludes at nightfall the following day.
It was also the 9th of Av in 586 B.C. when the first Temple was desecrated and destroyed in the same manner as 70 A.D., both times taking place at the 3:00 P.M. hour during the time of the Temple Sacrifice. This is significant that Jesus who is the Lamb of God, as Priest, Prophet, and King, died on the cross at the 3:00 o'clock hour.
Because of the rejection of the Jews, this lead to the destruction of the temple sacrifices and Jesus confers the Kingdom on the Apostles: "For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves?Is it not the one seated at table?I am among you as the one who serves.It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
We are the people of the new and everlasting Covenant, this is the Kingdom of God. The guest without the wedding garment was thrown out because of his self-righteousness. The white robes of Revelation 7:9 reflects the purity and being washed cleaned through the Sacraments. The invited guest was not duly able to receive the Eucharist because he was not properly clothed with grace. Even as Catholics, you should not receive the Eucharist while having committed Mortal sin. You must go to Confession and get rid of the sin and repent from it.
To receive the Eucharist, it is not a right, it is an invitation, it is a calling. For us the Eucharist should be a hunger to receive Jesus more fully. Not only is Jesus in our hearts, but our very substance.
Many are called, but few are chosen to be the servants of the servants of God. To be called by God to be a Priest is a special calling. This calling is a quest and search that requires discernment on our part. Are you listening? Are we listening to God's call? Just like the Prophet Samuel was properly reared by his Mother Hannah and trained in the household of the Priest Eli, Samuel heard God's call, the family should be a place for children to learn to await the Lord's call.
Today it is not always easy to hear God's call because we drown Him out with all our inventions, distractions, and "self-righteousness". Jesus has taken these men, our Catholic priests, and "made them a kingdom and priests to our God" (Revelation 5:10). These men God has given the Virgin Mary as our Mother (Revelation 12:17, John 19:26), who "makes them princes in all the earth". (Psalms 45:16)
The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2), we are all called to service as priest and laity to work together ( Ephesians 2:19-20) preparing guests to be properly clothed with holiness entering into the royal banquet, the Mass.
Consider Jonah in this video, how God calls him to preach to Nineveh, sometimes like Jonah, we find ourselves wanting to go the opposite way: