"FOR MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN." Matthew 22:14
The Kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gives a wedding banquet for his son. When those invited refuse and mistreat his servants, the king invites all to fill the banquet hall. The source of this story is found in today’s 1st reading - Isaiah 25:6-10a - where we are told that “On this mountain, the Lord of Hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines…the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth…”
First, the invited guests simply refuse to come, and when the second call comes, they treat the invitation as a joke and go about their business. Not only do the guests refuse, but some of them seize the king’s messengers and kill them. In response, the king sends his troops to burn their city. With the party ready, the king is determined that it will go forward, and so the servants are sent out again, this time to the very limits of the territory. (That is what the term means that lies behind the "main streets" in verse 9). They are to bring in everyone, "good and bad" (verse 10), so that the hall will be filled. When he king plans a party, the party will go on! The succession of invitations corresponds to God’s declaration of truth concerning his Kingdom and his Son – first to Israel and then to the Gentile nations.
With the party in full swing, the king enters the banquet hall and moves among the guests. To his dismay, he finds that one of them is not dressed properly. “Friend,” he says, “how did you get in here without a wedding robe” (verse 12)? And receiving no satisfactory answer, he has the poor guy bound and thrown out -- not just outside the hall, but into “the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verse 13). Was it not the king who commanded his slaves to go out to the highways and byways and bring in anyone they could find? As early as the second century, Irenaeus wrote that the wedding garment signified works of righteousness. The wedding garment signified repentance and a change of heart and mind. This is the condition for entrance into the Kingdom and must be continued in a life of good deeds.
“Many are called, few are chosen” The word “chosen” here applies to those who not only receive a call, but willingly choose to come, being sure they are dressed with the right garment, and remain committed to the Kingdom of God. To them the Kingdom means everything. They are willing pay any price, make any sacrifice, and remain committed for life to God and His values. What about you? Are you being counted as one of the “chosen”?