Somewhere I Belong. These past few weeks have been rough and it has left me praying every single moment silently that things do not get bad. It can be difficult to be a Christian in the workplace when tensions run high and people’s actions can change at any moment, and it’s like you are walking on glass every time. Everything is taking a plunge, especially creativity, motivation and determination- it just leaves me exhausted and scrambling to make sense of it all. I am still finding a place to belong and the search continues despite the preoccupation of job stability and leaving an impact behind.
The gospel begins by saying, “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).”
From the parable which draws similarities from last week’s gospel reading we are shown that God is generous and that he sends his servants out to invite the good, bad, poor and rich to the wedding feast. The wedding feast is a joyous occasion and the kingdom of heaven is being depicted as a joyous occasion where they will be rejoicing and everyone will be invited.
However, since we were given the gift of free will, we have the choice to either attend or otherwise. Even when God has extended the invitation, some chose to ignore the invitation and not attend. Are we ignoring the invitation to enter paradise? Jesus does not give up on us and continues to invite us any other day to prepare and be in our wedding best to meet him when the time comes.
I am still getting my wedding garment together as with sin and unworthiness creeping in, it is more of a hindrance. With prayer and repentance, I hope that the wedding garment by the grace of God will be ready when the time comes.
I believe that the kingdom of heaven is the narrow door where many are called but few are chosen but we must not give up. The key is to keep dying to ourselves and do away with things that make our spiritual life complicated which is sin.
In the secular world, there is always a certain level of power struggle and no one wants to exercise humility. It is disappointing and it is challenging to find your own calling because the weaker ones get squeezed to the corner of a caged society. I always pray for those in higher power to have the wisdom to understand that their traditionalist mindset is causing more hurt and division than good or purpose. There needs to be integration and consideration for society to move forward together.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
so that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call. Amen.
I pray for workplaces to be a more forgiving and understanding environment in ensuring that relationships and peoples’ efforts are taken into consideration and not brushed aside. So that, everyone’s’ contributions can be valued and things get done more effectively in achieving the desired purpose for the benefit of society.
To close, here is a hymn titled, “The Summons” to keep reaching out for Jesus and listen to his call both day and night, that he calls us each by name and that we continue to respond to his invitation to partake in the heavenly banquet when our journey comes to a close.
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong