28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A 10th / 11th October, 2020

This is the third in the series of parables Jesus tells in the tense atmosphere of his final days in Jerusalem. Opposition to him has gathered momentum. Rejection and condemnation lie ahead. The lines of battle have been drawn. All this is reflected in the accusing tone of the parables. Judgement is being passed on those who had the responsibility to listen and to lead. The gist of the parable is obvious enough. The ‘chief priest and elders of the people’ to whom all three parables are addressed are those accused of refusing to accept the king’s invitation. The guests who fill the wedding hall are the despised nobodies who are not righteous observers of the Law. Like its predecessors, this parable has continued to sound a warning to self-righteous leaders in every age. The behaviour of the king is modelled on the ruthless tyrants of the ancient world’ this makes it difficult to simply equate the king with God. The final section is also puzzling. On the face of it, the guest without the wedding garment is harshly treated. Presumably, this served as a warning for community members not to become complacent.