Thursday, September 3, 2015

Don’t Worry; God Won’t Force Us into Heaven

In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear Jesus describe a wedding banquet in which those who were invited had no desire to attend. When the master sent His servants to call those who had been invited, those who had been invited “Made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.” (Matthew 22.5-6) They thought of an empty wedding banquet was not acceptable, and the master sent His servants out again, this time telling the servants, “Go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.” (Matthew 22.9) They filled the wedding banquet with all sorts of people, EXCEPT those who had been originally invited. According to the master, they were no longer worthy.

The wedding banquet is heaven, and we have been invited by God to attend. The Church, just like the servants, has reminded us that the banquet is ready. All that remains is for us to accept His invitation and enter into heaven, but He will not force us to enter if we do not wish. If we, like those in the Gospel, make like of God’s invitation, then He will move on to those who desire heaven. He will respect our choice to remain outside the doors of the banquet.

You may not think you are rejecting God’s invitation to enter heaven, but any time we choose to ignore the Church, we ignore His servants. It isn’t a matter of coming to the banquet later, but trusting the Church to call us when the time has come. The Church IS calling. Will we trust the Church and enter the banquet, or ask them to find someone else. God will respect our choice, but it would be better for us to accept the invitation and follow the Church into heaven. Not everyone will be allowed into the banquet because, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22.14)

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