Readings for this Sunday:
Exodus 32:1–14; Psalm 106:1–6, 19–23; Philippians 4:1–9; Matthew 22:1–14
Malala Yousafzai’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize, more than two years after being shot for having the temerity to go to school, is a sign of hope in the face of intimidation and violence, of life in the face of death. She reminds us that we should not allow ourselves to be distracted by fear from God’s call to love, peace, justice and hope.
This is not a new challenge. Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast illustrates the difficulty that he had with many around him who resisted his message of a renewed relationship with God and his call to participate in a different way of living. Even those who accept and follow Christ still have to find ways of responding to difficulty, failure and life’s dark moments.
In the end, we can only live in the hope of the new life that God will offer. Life has many contrasts between light and dark; we need to look for the light, to be agents of hope, joy, justice and love. We are all invited to the wedding feast that represents Christ’s kingdom, to find the light in the face of darkness, but we must be aware of why we are there: the chastised guest represents those who want to turn up and be part of the crowd without being really prepared to participate.
Malala’s courage reminds us to share responsibility for shining light into darkness.