I think the Church Fathers interpreted this verse as meaning that although we are invited by God, our actions will still determine our fate. Verse 14 needs, I think, to be considered along with the preceding verses:
Matthew 22:11–14 (KJV 1900)
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how
camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was
speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and
foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall
be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are
The Greek (Byzantine) commentator, Theophylact of Ohrid, explained the phrase Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοί, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί:
"Many are called" for God calls many, indeed, all, "but few are
chosen." For few are saved and found worthy to be chosen by God. For
it is God's part to call, but to become one of the chosen or not, is
our part. He shows, then, that this parable was spoken by the Jews
who were called but were not chosen, as they did listen.
Explanation of The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Chrysostom Press, 1992).
Augustine seems to convey this same understanding, despite his being often cited as a source for doctrine on predestination:
And He saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a
wedding garment? And he was speechless.” For He who questioned him
was One, to whom he could give no feigned reply. The garment that was
looked for is in the heart, not on the body; for had it been put on
externally, it could not have been concealed even from the servants.
Where that wedding garment must be put on, hear in the words, “Let thy
priests be clothed with righteousness [Psalm 132:9]. Of that garment
the Apostle speaks: “If so be that we shall be found clothed, and not
naked” [2 Corinthians 5:3]. Therefore was he discovered by the Lord,
who escaped the notice of the servants. Being questioned, he is
speechless: he is bound, cast out, and condemned one by many.
I have said, Lord, that Thou teachest us that in this Thou dost give
warning to all. Recollect then with me, my Brethren, the words which
ye have heard, and ye will at once discover, at once determine, that
that one was many. True it was one man whom the Lord questioned, to
one He said, “Friend, how camest thou in hither?” It was one who was
speechless, and of that same one was it said, “Bind him hand and foot,
and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing
Why? “For many are called, but few chosen.” How can any one gainsay
this manifestation of the truth? “Cast him,” He saith, “into outer
darkness.” “Him,” that one man assuredly, of whom the Lord saith, “for
many are called, but few chosen.” So then it is the few who are not
cast out. He was it is true but one man “who had not the wedding
garment. Cast him out.” But why is he cast out? “For many are called,
but few chosen.” Leave alone the few, cast out the many.
It is true, that man was but one. Yet undoubtedly that one not only
was many, but those many in numbers far surpassed the number of the
good. For the good are many also; but in comparison of the bad, they
are few. In the crop there is much wheat; compare it with the chaff,
and the grains of corn are few. The same persons considered in
themselves are many, in comparison with the bad are few.
How do we prove that in themselves they are many? “Many shall come
from the East and from the West” Whither shall they come? To that
feast, into which both good and bad enter. But speaking of another
feast, He subjoined, “and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and
Jacob in the kingdom of heaven [Matthew 8:11]. That is the feast to
which the bad shall not approach. Be that feast which now is, received
worthily, that we may attain to the other.
The same then are many, who are also few; in themselves many; in
comparison with the bad few. Therefore what saith the Lord? He found
one, and said, “Let the many be cast out, the few remain.” For to say,
“many are called, but few chosen,” is nothing else than to show
plainly who in this present feast are accounted to be such, as to be
brought to that other feast, where no bad men shall come.
Sermons on the Lessons of the Gospels, Sermon XL