The parable goes on to say that the master of the house was so angry because his guests had rejected his call that he said to his servant:
Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame.
The parable, which is quite expressive, shows quite clearly that it is usually not the rich who answer the call to attend the divine banquet. Rather they are the ones who despise the divine offer and choose the things of this world which they regard as the only wealth that can satiate the longings of their heart.The bought farm, the acquired five yoke of oxen, the recently celebrated wedding are merely rhetorical figures that the parable uses to express the preferences of those who opt for the world and despise Jesus Christ. The fact that the poor are the ones who are subsequently called and accept the invitation of the master of the house, thus replacing those who being rich did not want to come to the supper, is another of the mysterious paradoxes that intersperse Christian life. This leads us to the enigmatic announcement of the Gospel stating that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor: Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God; which poses a complex issue present throughout the Message of Jesus Christ: the confrontation between the love of the world, with its pomp and works and all its elements, on the one hand, and Christian poverty, on the other.
(June 7, 2015)
Dear brethren in the Hearts of Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother:
Today, the second Sunday after Pentecost, and as prescribed by the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Mass, the Church invites us to consider the Gospel passage from Saint Luke which tells the story of the guests invited to a great banquet who, contrary to what would have been logical to expect, one after another began to make excuses under various pretexts.
According to one of them, he had bought a farm and had to go see it; so he offered his apologies. Another argued that he had just acquired five yoke of oxen and wanted to try them, and so he also begged to be excused. A third explained that he had married and consequently he considered himself justified for not attending.
The householder, the host who had invited them to the great wedding banquet, became so angry that he ordered his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. The servant carried out his master’s bid and then he said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
The parable or story is quite expressive and, as always happens with the teachings of the Lord, lends itself to many detailed considerations.
The priestly life as tragedy
It was certainly Bernanos, in his Diary of a Country Priest, who best described the life of a true priest as tragic.
Perhaps it would be convenient, before anything else, to note that the noun tragedy or its adjective tragic is not taken here in its usual meaning, but rather in its derivative, although true, sense. The same applies to the word failure when applied, as has been done throughout this work, to the balance of a priestly life exacted at its culmination.
If we stick to the current and usual meaning of these words, true tragedy and complete failure must be properly applied to the existence of a bad priest. God alone knows the possibility, explanation, and causes of this unfortunate event as well as its final destiny.
Alternatively, Bernanos’ work inevitably brings about some pessimism in the reader. But this feeling, referring as it does to a supernatural vocation and destiny, has no reasonable explanation, for it is impossible to find the slightest shadow of pessimism in any supernatural reality. Hence it must be said that the character of the Curé of Ambricourt, despite the well-deserved grandeur it holds in Universal Literature, inevitably fails at some point.