By Lori Ubowski
Parables are my jam. I have always loved hearing these fascinating stories Jesus told his listeners. As a child, I even watched a few animated series that brought the stories to life right in front of my eyes, imprinting them in my mind forever. One such parable is when Jesus just lays it out for us–the question we all want to know–how do we get into the Kingdom of Heaven?
I’M INVITED. YOU’RE INVITED. WE’RE ALL INVITED!
If you recall, this story compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast, a king prepares for his son (Matthew 22:1-14). The honored guests strangely ignore their invitations and instead go about their usual business, some even turning to violence because they couldn’t be bothered. Let’s stop there. I’m thinking to myself, if this is anything like getting an invite to a modern-day royal wedding, these people have to be crazy!
The story continues as the king, not amused with the rejection of his invitations, declares that the invitees are “not worthy to come” and instructs his servants to invite whoever they find to the wedding feast, good or bad. This new plan seems to work reasonably well, and the hall fills with guests enjoying and celebrating in the feast until one man, not dressed in the proper wedding attire, is thrown out.
SO HOW DOES THIS WORK AGAIN?
Does this seem harsh? First, the king excludes people, and then when he finds those he invited to be rude, he decides to uninvite them and ask anyone, but then has stipulations for the new invitees. Sounds like a typical day of middle school girl friend-group dynamics (Moms of middle school girls … we know, right?). The question remains: How on earth do we get into this party?
The lesson here is a combination of gratitude and obedience. If we desire to be worthy of entering the Kingdom of Heaven, we must wear the humility of being grateful for the invitation to enter. We must recognize that we all have the same opportunity to spend eternity with Christ but that he asks certain things of us. Obedience comes from a place of respect and love for our savior. In return for the chance to enter his house, he asks that we live a virtuous and faithful life.
Today, my prayer is that we all find an opportunity to reflect on our worthiness, asking the questions: Am I grateful for a Savior who died for me? Am I living the way God is calling me to live? Am I worthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
About the author:
Lori Ubowski is a Catholic musician, speaker, and author. She is part of the duo, Out of Darkness, leading worship with her husband, Adam. She recently co-authored Side By Side: A Catholic Mother-Daughter Journal (Ave Maria Press) with her daughter, Ava, and is a contributing writer in Our Friend Faustina (Marian Press).