A reflection on the wedding garment
Thanks to the folks at Daily Gospel Online here is a beautiful meditation by St. Augustine on Matthew 22:1-14. It puts our vocation as Christians, followers of Christ, into perspective.
What is the wedding garment that the Gospel talks about? Most certainly, that garment is something that only the good have, those who are to participate in the feast… Could it be the sacraments? Baptism? Without baptism, no one comes to God, but some people receive baptism and do not come to God… Perhaps it is the altar or what a person receives at the altar? But in receiving the Lord’s body, some people eat and drink their own condemnation (1 Cor 11,29). So what is it? Fasting? The wicked also fast. Going to church often? The wicked go to church like the others…
So what is this wedding garment? The apostle Paul tells us: “What we are aiming at… is the love that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.” (1 Tim 1,5) That is the wedding garment. Paul is not talking about just any kind of love, for one can often see dishonest people loving others …, but one does not see among them this love “that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.” Now that is the love that is the wedding garment.
The apostle Paul said: “If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal… If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor 13,1-2) He said that even if he had all that, without Christ “I am nothing.”… How many good things are worthless because one good alone is lacking! If I am without love I may well give away all that I have, confess the name of Christ to the point of shedding my blood (v.3), it would be to no purpose, because I can act in that way for love of glory… “If I have not love, it is of no use.” That is the wedding garment. Examine yourselves: if you have it, then come to the Lord’s banquet with confidence.