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Daily Devotional for July 9


July 9                                                           Matthew 22:1-14

A disturbing image of God seems to emerge from today's
Gospel. God is compared to a ruler who, upon learning that
the invitation to his son's marriage feast had been rejected and
that some of his messengers had been killed, became angry
and "sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and
burned their city." This image becomes even more unsettling
later in the story when that same ruler, upon encountering
a wedding guest who was not wearing the proper wedding
garment, commanded his servants, "Let the guest be bound,
hand and foot, and cast into the night... ."

Since this image is very different from the patient and forgiv-
ing God that Jesus reveals elsewhere in the Scriptures, Jesus
must have been using it in order to make a different point.
That point may be this: God is unalterably determined to
remove every obstacle that would prevent union between Jesus
and us. By comparing God to someone who would destroy
murderers and cities and have improperly dressed guests
removed from the marriage feast of his son, Jesus seems to
be saying that the ultimate goal of all of life is union with God
through Christ, and that nothing must be allowed to displace
or diminish that priority.

Today's Gospel therefore invites us to consider what is most
important in our lives. Do we today accept the invitation to
come to the marriage feast (i.e., to take the time to draw near
to God), or do we make light of it, giving our work, business
affairs, or even church ministry a higher priority?

What if a servant of God came to you today and called you
to leave your affairs for a time and come to the marriage feast?
Are you prepared to say yes?

          O God, come and remove today all obstacles
        between us so that I may know the sweet joy of
                 union with you through Christ. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989  

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