Tuesday, April 12, 2016

friends and the Feast

"Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.”

-Sirach 6:14-16

Today I was blessed to spend half the day with a dear friend. I see her very infrequently so our visits tend to go on for hours and it is a great gift...I love to listen to her trials and her wisdom. She is a few years ahead of me in the motherhood vocation and I am blessed to have her as a good witness to living the faith as the kids (joys and sorrows) get bigger.

Tonight I was also blessed to help as an aid at the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd that our kids attend. If you don't know about this amazing program, find out. If there is one near you and you have small kids, run to it. It is an outstanding way to learn and practice the faith.

The class I helped with was pondering the Parable of the Wedding Feast from Matthew 22
Jesus again in reply spoke to them 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. He 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.”
There is so much to look at in this parable, especially at the beginning but tonight I was drawn to the end. The king called the man "friend" and asked why he didn't come dressed (not exactly threatening) but the man had nothing to say. Nothing. Not, "I didn't have a garment" or "I didn't know" or even "I'm sorry". So, we see what happened next.

Upon reflection, I thought of my friend from the morning, and the one or two other faithful friends in my life and I am giving thanks to God for their presence. They listen to me, question me and challenge me in my faith. I am grateful for the gift of these men and women because I know, if we are all blessed to be called to the feast, they will not let me show up without a proper garment. If I am for some reason left alone to enter the banquet myself and I have strayed far enough to go without the proper attire, I know that their witness and example will at least allow me to speak up to offer contrition and to beg His Mercy. 

God is so good to place me in the company of these people. I am blessed.

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