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Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 36:23-28; Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19; Matthew 22:1-14

My dear encountered couples:

We’re often told to do good for others. But sometimes we find people who don’t want us to do good for them. What do we do? Go and look for someone else in need who wants to accept our goodness. That’s what the king in our story did.

The king gave a wedding banquet for his son. Those invited didn’t show up. He did his utmost to persuade them. They still wouldn’t come. So, he invited others more needy than those who were willing to come. And the banquet was a success. His son had a memorable wedding day. The world is full of people who need your help; it is full of people who need a square meal. Though some might refuse you, there are always many who will accept. Goodness can’t be forced on anyone. Not even God can force it on us.

We liken our Mass to a banquet, a banquet in honor of God’s Son, a banquet to which all are invited - every Sunday. Some come, some don’t. Everyone who stays home has a reason. Not always a good one, not good to God anyhow, only seemingly good enough to those who stay home. They don’t really know what they are missing. Well, too bad.

But we are among those who accept the invitation to come to Mass, aren’t we? We attend Mass not only on Sundays but often on other days. We are among those who take all the invitations we can get.

Maybe that guest who the king kicked out was one who accepted all the invitations he could get. Why did he get kicked out? Merely for not wearing a particular article of clothing? I don’t think so. It was for not being willing to abide by the king’s will.

What is important is not that we are here, but that we are willing to abide by God’s will. And what is that? Doing good for others!

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