The purpose of this reflection is to help youth understand the Parable of the Wedding Feast. Youth will consider how God desires us to be with him. It is up to us to accept or reject His invitation and to prepare ourselves for the event.
Your parents are letting you throw a party. You can invite as many friends as you like and your budget is unlimited.
- Where would your party be held?
- Would there be a theme?
- What sort of entertainment or activities would you have?
- What food would you want to have?
- Any other plans?
Spend some time brainstorming the party. Let them be over the top extravagant.
So your party is planned. It is time to invite people. What would your invitations look like?
Fast forward two weeks. The invitations have all been sent. Some people have not replied at all or said anything to you about your party. Others have replied that they can’t come and made excuses. So far, you haven’t had one positive response. A couple people who you thought were your friends went so far as to insult you. They said the party didn’t sound like much fun and so there was no way they were coming.
- How do these responses make you feel?
- What do you do?
Now read the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14)
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.
[But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen."]Matthew 22:1-14 or 22:1-10
God has prepared a great feast for us. We get a little taste of the heavenly banquet when we go to Mass. But sometimes we are distracted by other things. What are some things which can keep us from attending Sunday Mass?
Let the youth share examples here. If they are reluctant, give some generic examples of what keep people from coming to Mass.
- Sleeping in
- Sports or other activities
- It isn’t interesting
What are some ways we can help each other attend the Eucharistic feast?
- Go with a friend
- Try a different mass time
- Plan ahead and find a mass that fits into our schedules…
This reading also has a second part. God also wants us to be ready and prepared. The guest who showed up without a wedding garment did not feel that the event was important enough to make the effort to prepare. What are some ways we can prepare for Mass?
- Read the readings ahead of time
- Dress appropriately
- Fast before communion
- Go to confession if it has been a while
Not only will these things show our respect for the Eucharist. They just might also help us be more engaged in the Mass.
This week try to think of Mass as a celebration. Do something extra to prepare. Go with some friends. God has planned this party and longs for us to celebrate with Him.