|Father Perry D. Leiker|
Perhaps, only once in a year, the familiar question might go something like this: “Are you going to the party on Friday night?”
The equally rare and stunning response follows: “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss it! This is the social event of the year!”
What kind of event would qualify for that response? A presidential ball? The consecration or funeral of a pope? The grand opening of a world class opera house? The unveiling of a newly found Picasso? The last game of a World Series or the World Cup?
In today’s Gospel, it is the wedding of a king’s son. This is an event that, if invited to attend, one would never want to reject. Not only would it truly be the social event of the year, this would be a personal invitation from the king himself.
Or to put it in other words: cancel everything. Rearrange everything. Put everything on hold. Everything takes a back burner to this one!
To reject the event for whatever reason would also be to reject the king himself.
This is Jesus’ way of presenting, once again, the kingdom of God.
Here it is among you. It has arrived. It is now. It is forever. It is the single most important event, invitation, reality that you could ever and will ever know.
To reject the invitation of the kingdom is to reject God himself.
This is the third week in a row that the liturgy presents this reality to us. The kingdom of God is offered and there are those who will not receive it, who cannot recognize it, who reject the offer.
Jesus says: the offer will be taken away from you and given to someone else. These are startling words. This is truly unthinkable.
The only response that makes real sense is simply: “I wouldn’t miss it. This is the event of a lifetime. This is the event that brings eternal life. Thank you for the invitation. I accept! I accept!! I accept!”
Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email email@example.com.