All the faithful know the story of the marriage of the king’s son, and his feast. They know that the Lord’s table is open to all who are willing correctly to receive it. But it is important that each one examines how he approaches, even when he is not forbidden to approach.

The holy Scriptures teach us that there are two feasts of the Lord: one to which the good and evil come, the other to which the evil do not come. So then the feast of which we have just now heard when the gospel was being read has both good and evil guests. All who excused themselves from this feast are evil, but not all those who entered in are good. I now address you, therefore, who are the good guests at this feast. You are taking careful note of the words, “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” It is to you I speak. I plead with you not to look vainly for the good apart from the church but to bear with the evil within it.

Augustine, Sermon 90.I, quoted in Manlio Simonetti (ed), Matthew 14 – 28, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture New Testament Ib, (InterVarsity Press, 2002) 145.

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