Saturday, August 24, 2019
21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 25, 2019 - 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Is 66: 18 – 21 / Heb 12: 5 – 7, 11 – 13 / Lk 13: 22 – 30
FROM THE 2ND READING: Heb 12: 5 – 7
Do not forget the comforting words that Wisdom addresses to you as children: My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you and do not be discouraged when he punishes you. For the Lord corrects those he loves and chastises everyone he accepts as a son. What you endure is in order to correct you. God treats you like sons and what son is not corrected by his father?
GOSPEL READING: Lk 13: 22 – 30
Jesus went through towns and villages teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?"
And Jesus answered, "Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door, calling: 'Lord, open to us.' But he will say to you: 'I do not know where you come from.'
"Then you will say: 'We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets!' But he will reply: 'I don't know where you come from. Away from me all you workers of evil.'
"You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last will be the first, and others who were first will be last!"
In the first reading we are reminded that trials and sufferings are part and parcel of life, even signs of God's care and love: "For the Lord corrects those he loves and chastises everyone he accepts as a son. What you endure is in order to correct you. God treats you like sons and what son is not corrected by his father?"
In the Gospel reading Jesus speaks of the challenges we have to endure to enter eternal life.
The door that Jesus refers to in the Gospel reading is himself: "I am the Gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food." (Jn 10: 9)
Following Jesus is not easy. We are surrounded by various difficulties and temptations. Doing good is not always the popular choice.. There are times when choosing what is good means going against the prevailing culture and popular values of the world.
In an atmosphere focused on the "I" and "me," choosing what is good, the moral imperative, may oftentimes be unpopular. In a world more and more secular, Christ-like attitude and behavior are often branded old fashioned and even impractical. It becomes even more difficult if we follow Jesus in the way of the cross.
Jesus offered a radical way of loving, of forgiving sinners, of caring for the sick and the abandoned and of reaching out to the lonely and broken- hearted. His teachings and example drew the ire of the leaders of the Jews, which eventually led to his condemnation and death on the cross.
To enter the kingdom of God is to enter by the narrow door. Jesus does not threaten us when he invites us to follow him. It is clearly more attractive to find the easy way out, to take the wide-open door the world follows.
We must keep in mind that we are not alone when we seek to enter through the narrow door; God is always with us. We only have to ask for his help and grace.
In moments of difficulties, of temptations and struggles, do we continue to trust in God's fidelity? How do we respond to Jesus' invitation "to enter by the narrow door?"
We are also reminded of Jesus' parable of the ten bridesmaids: "So, stay awake, for you do not know the day nor the hour." (Mt 25: 1 – 15)
FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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