Why does God like weddings? Why does Holy Scripture begin with the wedding of Adam and Eve? Why does it end with the wedding feast of the Lamb in the Apocalypse? Why does Our Lord’s first miracle take place at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee?
All these questions are relevant if we want to fully understand the implications of today’s Gospel reading. “The kingdom of Heaven is like a King who made a wedding feast for His Son.” Who this King is and who His Son is should not be too hard to figure out: it is God the Father who made the wedding for His Eternal Son. When? At the precise moment when the latter took flesh in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin, for it is at that moment that God wedded to Himself our human nature. God had been desiring from all eternity to unite humanity with Himself in the Person of the Eternal Word, and He longs today to unite with Himself every human being through the gift of Divine sanctifying grace which reaches us through the Church and the Sacraments.
This alone allows us to understand the behaviour of the King towards those who refuse to come to the wedding: He sends His troops to destroy them and burn their city. God offers us a share in His eternal life, by sending us His Son and incorporating us into His holy Church through the sacraments which give us, really and truly, the Seed of Immortality, opening up to us the gates of Heaven, which are nothing less than the entrance into an eternal marriage bond with God — God wants us to be one with Him in His eternal life. To refuse such a gift is unforgivable.
Imagine someone who would despise the invitation of such a magnanimous king, who would prefer his petty self-interests to the proposal of the Eternal King. What could possibly be more insulting for the King, and more contrary to the real interests of the person who rejects it? That is why, for those who are not interested in God and in what He has to offer, there is nothing to hope for but death and destruction. Hell exists, and those who have no time for God go there.
This is confirmed by the rest of the parable. Once the feast had been filled with guests, the King went in to see the guests. And what did He find there? He found a man who had no wedding garment. He had been invited, he had come, but he had not had the courtesy of wearing the proper attire. In other words, he was not fit, through his own fault, to take part in the celebration to which he was invited. If the wedding feast is the union of God with the soul through the sacraments, this lack of a wedding garment can only mean that this fellow had approached the holy place and the holy sacraments without being in God’s grace. The punishment is not delayed: cast him out into the exterior darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. God is not mocked, and one does not abuse holy gifts with impunity. Yes, God offers forgiveness, even for such monstrous deeds, but on the condition that one repent. The man in today’s Gospel, when asked why he had no wedding garment, was silent: in other words, he refused to acknowledge his sin, he refused confession, he refused conversion, and he was damned.
Many are called, but few are chosen. Those solemn words resound throughout history, and they fly in the face of all the false prophets who, in every age, seek to divert souls from the real necessity of conversion and penance. These divine words tell us, with the greatest clarity possible, that even though many, that is to say all are called, not all are saved. So many are lost because so many refuse to take God up on His offer of being united with Him in the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb.
Our Lady of Fatima said there were many who are lost in Hell because there is no one to pray and offer penance for them. Let us be generous, and let us also make sure that no one is lost due to our failure to speak the truth, the eternal truth, which alone can save.
May Our Lady of Cana obtain for us the grace of being among those who accept God’s plan for us and open up wide our minds, hearts, and wills to the demands of His Holy Covenant!