Life in the outer darkness

The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.

I was struck by verses 11-14 —

11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then 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.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

— in that, last Tuesday at McDonald’s, I’m the one who got thrown into the outer darkness.

I tell that story in a post scheduled for this Saturday:   Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Meanwhile, in the outer darkness, what is one to do?

Many weep and gnash their teeth.

Many pout and whine about the injustices they have suffered — from people, events, disability or “historical context;” about their powerlessness.

They waste their spirit in resentment of the privileged,
in calling down God’s wrath upon those at whom they’re angry,
in calling on the cosmos to change to their liking
so that one need never do anything for oneself,
care for oneself,
love oneself,
or work.

Weeping and gnashing of teeth will continue so long as you keep choosing to do it — as long as you keep kicking yourself to the curb.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.”
He didn’t say this to the privileged.
He said it to those whom society had kicked to the curb.
You are the light of the world.

God loves you now,
no matter what you have or don’t have, or what you’ve done.

Will you love yourself?

The self-loving person will not sit on the curb and weep,
but instead get up, dust oneself off, and set out to achieve one’s dreams.

When the world tosses him or her into the gutter,
the self-loving person will not wallow in squalor,
but instead get up, wash oneself off, and set out to climb to higher ground.

You need not stay in outer darkness.

You can be light to the world.

(Originally posted 2014-10-15.)

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