Gospel reading for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Matthew 22:1-14
The main point of this reading is life-changing. Jesus says that to enter the kingdom of heaven, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
I love this because it turns my idea of being “chosen” upside-down, placing the ultimate decision in the hands of those who are chosen, rather than the one doing the choosing. Faith is a gift from God and everyone, everywhere is invited to accept it, but we are also free to say no. We get to choose if we are chosen. To be chosen is to say yes.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (160), “Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them.” If we were forced to say yes, it wouldn’t mean anything. God gave us free will so that our experience of His love would be deeply meaningful.
But saying yes involves more than just believing. It also requires a willingness to grow in our faith and seek a conversion of heart. Accepting that God’s will is superior to our own will, and eventually allowing God’s desires to replace our own desires for ourselves. When we say yes to God’s invitation, we say yes to loving our neighbors selflessly, we say yes to forgiving those who hurt us, we say yes to living (or at least trying our best to live) a virtuous life.
God’s call is demanding and He expects a lot of us. But He also wants to help. So we have to say yes to his help too. Yes to prioritizing our relationship with God, yes to letting Him take control, and yes to letting Him pick us up when we fall. This part is crucial if we want to live a fulfilling and love-filled life, rather than a disappointing and frustrating one. I know this from personal experience – humans trying to live God’s will without His help will only feel incompetent and lost.
We live in a world full of temptations, distractions and complications. So, saying yes doesn’t always appear to be so simple. And continuing to choose yes – to choose to love – on a daily basis is challenging. Not easy, but also not impossible. And definitely worth it. People all over the world and throughout history have said yes each and every day, and I will venture to guess that in the end, none of them regret it.