A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I’m not dressed!

In the long version of today’s Gospel (Matthew 22:1-14), our Lord ends this particular parable of the wedding feast with a strange epilogue.

The banquet hall is filled with guests, literally brought in off the street without regard to history or income or status. This is a wonderful symbol of how widely and mercifully God extends his invitation of grace.

But then the king notices someone who is incorrectly dressed and has no excuse. This person is then tied up and thrown out into the cold and dark.

On one level, this symbolizes those who respond to the call of grace, but do not really change. It reminds us to deepen continually our repentance and total conversion to the Lord through his grace (O God, be merciful to me: a sinner).

It also serves as an opportunity for us to consider the importance of dressing well.

To be sure, the appearance of our hearts is infinitely more important than the appearance of our attire: churches are full of well-dressed hypocrites.

Even so, physical attire is an important mode of social communication in our physical world.

As we focus on our lives of prayer and service, we should not ignore how our physical attire may communicate (or contradict) what we believe and do.

Not all of us have a large budget for clothes, but we have all seen impoverished people who dress with more faithful dignity than the designer-clad glitterati.

What does our attire say about our poverty of spirit? What does it say about our being thoughtful and attentive stewards of what God has given us?

When we gather together as a community in the presence of God in our churches, does our attire communicate that we really care and that we really believe that our time there is special and valuable to us?

There are more important things than clothes – faith and love in Christ will save us, designer fashions will not – but we must take every proper opportunity to communicate the right message about ourselves and about the faith and love we hold so dear: in what we do and even in how we wear what we wear.

Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16