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The Parable of the Wedding Feast

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 22:1-14

22 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them [a]spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, [b]take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”



Парабола за свадбата на царевиот син

1. И одговарајќи, Исус пак им говореше во параболи и рече: 2. Царството небесно прилега на човек цар, кој направи свадба на сина си, 3. и ги испрати своите слуги да ги повикаат поканетите на свадба; а тие нејќеа да дојдат. 4. Потоа испрати други слуги и им рече: кажете им на поканетите: »Ете, приготвив јадење; јунците мои и сè што е угоено се заклани, и сè е готово; дојдете на свадба!« 5. Но тие не сакаа да знаат за тоа, а си отидоа: кој на нива, кој по трговија; 6. а некои, пак, ги фатија неговите слуги, ги исмеаја и ги убија. 7. Штом чу за тоа царот, се налути, испрати своја војска и ги погуби убијците и им го изгоре нивниот град. 8. Тогаш им рече на слугите свои: »Свадбата е готова, но поканетите не беа достојни. 9. Затоа одете по раскрсниците и, колку души ќе најдете, поканете ги на свадба!« 10. И како излегоа слугите на раскрсниците, ги собраа сите што ги најдоа – и лоши и добри; и се наполни свадбениот дом со гости. 11. Кога влезе, пак, царот да ги види гостите, забележа еден необлечен во свадбени алишта. 12. Па му рече: »Пријателе, како влезе овде, необлечен во свадбена руба?« А тој молчеше. 13. Тогаш царот им рече на слугите: »Врзете му ги рацете и нозете, земете го и фрлете го во крајната темнина; таму ќе биде плач и крцкање со заби; 14. зашто, мнозина се повикани, а малцина избрани«.”


Thoughts By St. Theophan the Recluse on the 14th Sunday after Pentecost

A king arranges a wedding for his son, he sends once for those who were bidden, sends twice, but because of earthly cares they do not come—one was busy at home, another with business. A new invitation was made in other spheres, and the wedding chamber was furnished with guests. Among them was found one not dressed for a wedding, who was therefore cast out. The meaning of this parable is clear: The wedding is the kingdom of heaven, the invitation is the preaching of the Gospels, those who refused are those who did not believe at all, and the one who was not dressed for a wedding believed, but did not live according to faith. Each of us must figure out for ourselves which category we belong to. That we are bidden is clear, but are we believers? Indeed it is possible to even be among believers, under their common name, and completely lack faith. One does not think at all about faith, as if it did not exist; another knows something or other about it and from it, and is satisfied; another interprets the faith in a distorted way; another relates to it with complete animosity. All are reckoned to be among the Christians, although they have absolutely nothing which is Christian. If you believe, figure out whether your feelings, or deeds conform to your faith—these are the garment of the soul, by which God sees you as dressed for the wedding or not. It is possible to know the faith well and be zealous for it, but in actual life to serve the passions, to dress, that is, in the shameful clothes of a sin-loving soul. Such people are one way in word, but are another way in the heart. On their tongue is, “Lord, Lord!” but within they are saying, “count me out.” (Examine yourself, whether you be in the faith and wearing the wedding clothes of the virtues, or wearing the shameful tatters of sins and passions.

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