In this time of global darkness, each of us has the responsibility to be awake and aware, spiritually-ready and completely attuned to where Spirit is calling us. Are we willing to undertake that transformation of consciousness so needed at this time? Are we committed to seeking Truth and speaking Truth, regardless of the price? Do we care enough about the Earth and about future generations that we will live more sustainably, daring to become a new creation?
Given the pandemic, social and economic upheaval, the failure of our guiding institutions and a multitude of environmental disasters, we need to wake up or suffer the fate of the dinosaurs.
For now is the hour of holiness, the time to redeem from forgetfulness, the time of waiting in readiness...
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The servants went out into the streets
and gathered up all the people they found, bad and good alike, filling the hall with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed in wedding clothes. The king said, 'My friend, how is it
that you came here without a wedding garment?'
But the man remained silent. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him out, into the darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen."
For all the casualness of contemporary fashion, few wedding guests would show up in T-Shirts and sweatpants-- or, for that matter, in sportswear, swim suits or "house clothes." Weddings, in fact, are one of the few occasions for which people actually dress up, often purchasing new outfits and accessories, and even booking facials, hair cuts and manicures. Not to "dress" for a wedding is considered both ignorant and disrespectful. Those who dare to show up casually dressed or poorly groomed will quickly feel out of place when they observe the attire of the other guests, or when they notice all the disapproving looks coming their way.
In the parable of The Guest Without a Wedding Garment, the King seems unreasonable. After all, the poorly-dressed guest was not on the original guest list and had no idea that the the King's servants, finding him on the streets, would more or less drag him to the wedding feast. It's possible that this guest thought he could mingle with everyone else and escape notice; there is nothing to indicate that he intended to offend. It is also interesting that when the King addresses him, trying to find out why he is unsuitably dressed, this guest has nothing to say. He could, for example, say, "I was going about my own business, out on the street, when your servants dragged me to the wedding. I was clueless that this was going to happen!"
Instead of speaking up for himself, he says nothing in his own defense. Then, instead of feasting and celebrating, he finds himself bound hand and foot and cast out, into the darkness.
Why the extreme punishment? We know that those on the original guest list proved unworthy of the great honor: some refused to attend, others ignored the invitation to the King's son's wedding, while still others killed the King's servants. We also know that the next batch of guests were both "bad and good," so we can assume that this under-dressed guest belongs to the first category. But what makes him "bad"? There is no suggestion that he was involved in murdering the King's servants or that he was one of those who had refused or ignored the invitation earlier.
My take is that this guest is unprepared. The Wedding Feast, of course, is a metaphor for the Kingdom of God. To enter this Kingdom, one has to be spiritually awake and aware, fully conscious of the great honor that comes with being on the guest list. Worthy guests are "dressed in grace," desiring nothing more than to please their Host. In turn, the King desires the company of each guest, seeking to be at-one with each of them -- to be the Bridegroom of their hearts. Sadly, the guest without a wedding garment has no relationship with the Bridegroom/ King; his complete lack of social graces and his inability to seek forgiveness are what ultimately seal his fate. He does not know the Bridegroom/King and, therefore, the Bridegroom/ King does not know him.
How can we apply this to our own lives? Do we know God as intimately as God desires to know us, or are we merely "religious conformists" who "say our prayers," perform rituals and devotions, speak about God, research God, but fail to enter into the unitive life to which each of us is invited? Are we clad in our wedding garments, "ready and waiting," or are we content to lounge around in PJ's and slippers, asleep to the Mystery which surrounds us at every second -- and nano-second-- of our existence?
- Do you think that the guest without a wedding garment was treated unfairly?
- What's YOUR take on his punishment?
- How spiritually awake are you? What are the reasons for your answer?
- What do you understand by the "unitive life"? Is this something which you desire?