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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable that compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. The guests invited to the feast refuse to come. There are a number of sayings and parables of Christ that emphasize the difficulty in attaining the kingdom of heaven. Thus, Jesus declares: “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” 

These sayings represent one of the great paradoxes of the Gospel: though the kingdom dwells in every one of us—though it is closer to us than our breath—we remain in danger of missing it. 

It is no wonder that Jesus often compares the spiritual struggle to a battle to the death: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat.” “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” It is a terrible and heart-rending inner warfare that must be endured in the process of metanoia.