As the public ministry of Jesus draws to a close, Matthew introduces the themes of delay and the need to be ready for the second coming of Christ. Matthew’s community were living in the ‘in-between’ times. Christ’s victory over death through his resurrection had begun a new phase in history, but it was not yet complete. Completion would only come with his return in glory. We again hear the familiar imagery of the messianic banquet or wedding feast to which all are invited. But only those who live with an attitude of openness, expectation and readiness will be welcomed into the great hall. This parable speaks strongly of the need to live in the present with an eye to the future. We cannot live only for the ‘now’ with no thought for our ultimate goal, nor can we ignore the sufferings and responsibilities of the present and set our hearts only on heaven.