The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Want to rate this?

Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time


Matthew 22:1-14 

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.”


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant that I may know you, and that by knowing you I may love you more fully and follow you more faithfully.


Encountering Christ:


  1. Invited: This passage provides us with another glimpse into the heart of our God. He desires our participation in his Kingdom. He invites many to rejoice in the wedding feast, a grand and joyful celebration of union. This vision of the Lord is far from one that sees him as a harsh and exacting ruler, demanding and restricting in his exigencies. Instead, we see a God who takes the initiative to invite us into the joys of his inter-Trinitarian life where love and self-gift rule actions. How blessed we are!
  2. Response: Jesus offers a sort of examination of conscience for listeners to reflect on their response to God’s invitation. He tells us that one went off to his farm, a sign of remaining in one’s comfort zone. Another went off to his business, dismissing the invitation with the presumption that his concerns were more important than this invitation from God. He rejected the eternal king’s invitation to zealously set up his own kingdom. Another seized the servants and mistreated them. This reaction reflects those who find the Christian message uncomfortable, and instead lash out by bullying others.
  3. Consequence: The king actively punished those who ignored, refused, or threw the invitation back in his face. And when the guests had finally been rounded up, one man was found wanting, without a wedding garment. This parable stands as a stark reminder of what inner destruction occurs when the relationship between Creator and creature is severed. The Lord invites, he even goes out and gathers up, but what is to be done if there is absolutely no response on our part? The Kingdom of Heaven is open to all, but few will be chosen because they do not welcome the invitation. We are called to recognize the invitation, prepare our hearts, and dress them accordingly, with gratitude and willingness to receive God’s gifts. 


Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me to prepare my heart for the wedding banquet that you invite me to. Awaken my consciousness of your great blessings in this life and the invitation to eternal life with you.


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will continue to be conscious of the blessings I receive and answer you with a heartfelt “thank you!”


For Further Reflection:


Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”

Average Rating

What did you think?

Share your review! Just log in or create your free account.

Leave a Reply

Want more?

Sign up for the weekly email and access to member-only content

Skip to content