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We are What We Wear

We dress for occasions. Job interviews, business meetings, dinner parties, birthdays, proms, clubbing, golf, barbequing, exercising; if you can name an activity, we can pick out clothes or costumes to fit the occasion. Halloween is no different from these activities; it's just the most obvious.

Every October 31, culture warriors debate whether or not children and/or adults should dress up as vampires, mummies, celebrities, politicians, fairies, sports figures, super heroes, and just about any conceivable iteration of a nymph. Why? For some, this last day in October is merely a time for frivolity. For others, it is a reminder that death is real and evil stalks us like a lion in wait. The truth is: both points of view are correct.

But there's a larger point to be made. Namely, we are what we do; which also means, we are what we where. Consider for a moment The Parable of the Wedding Banquet in chapter 22 of the Gospel According to St. Matthew.

"Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet'. But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them.

"The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet'. Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

"‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth'. For many are called, but few are chosen'."

Jesus is saying that His Father in Heaven has set a banquet before us and asking, "Why are you not answering the invitation? Why are you not coming to His house? Why are you not enjoying the feast?" At one level, He is referring to eternal life. At another level He is referring to the Church and its Sacraments.

In other words, Jesus is asking us whether or not we're really paying attention to what's important. He's saying: What are your priorities? Where do you spend your time? What do your clothes tell you about your focus? Are you showing up for the wedding feast? Or, are you busy with everything else?

Live in the world. But feast on the love and joy of heaven!


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