Thursday, August 22, 2019

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Judges 11:29-39a; Matthew 21:1-14)

Human misunderstanding of God’s will is at least as old as the Bible.  In today’s first reading the Israeli judge Jephthah thinks that the sacrifice of a human person will somehow please God.  He defies both revealed and natural law in order to make one. Jephthah does not desist even when he discovers that the victim will be his only daughter. 

To many the wedding guest in today’s gospel parable is a victim of poverty.  They say that he should not have been punished because he was too poor to own a wedding garment.  However, wedding garments at the time were not a luxury but available to everyone.  The man is rightly seen as an ingrate who defies the graciousness of his host.  The parable may be seen as an allegory.  As one is obliged to wear proper dress to a wedding banquet, people must confess their sins to be admitted to heaven. 

Understanding God’s will is a matter of reflection and action.  We read the Scriptures to learn what God has ordained in writing.  Very important as well are the commentaries by bishops, especially the popes, and theologians.  We also must act on our conclusions.  If our interpretation of God’s will is on the mark, our action will bring about true good.