Father Nathan Homily | August 25, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
21th Sunday Ordinary Time (August 25, 2019)
For behold, some are last that will be first, and some are first who will be last. Lk 13: 22-30
The liturgy today invites us to be focused on the mission and the ministry; and when we focus on our mission, we are taught that we will to strive enter heaven through our means to save our souls – because finally saving one’s soul should be the ultimate motivation for a Christian which demands abundance of sacrifice and detriment and so on…
Scripture lessons summarized:
In the first reading, Isaiah’s prophecy speaks to the future Babylonian exiles returning to Jerusalem after 47 years in captivity, telling them that salvation is not a Jewish monopoly and that is why Yahweh will welcome the pagans also into Judaism. The prophet’s great book ends as it began, with a vision of all the peoples of the world streaming toward Jerusalem, acknowledging and praising the God of Israel.
In the second reading, exploring with his readers the consequences of Christian commitment, St. Paul explains that “the narrow gate” of Jesus means our accepting pain and suffering as the loving discipline God is giving His children.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly explains that anyone who wants follow him SHOULD CHOSE the narrow gate of sacrificial service and sharing love will be saved. Jesus also admonishes his followers to concentrate on their own salvation by self-discipline. It’s not an outcome of our option…..
People of Jesus time thought that Kingdom of God was reserved for the Jews alone, and Gentiles would be shut out.
The Jewish catechism, Mishnah, taught:
“All Israelites have a share in the world to come.”
The author of the Apocalypse of Ezra declared,
“this age the Most High has made for the many, but the age to come for a few” (4 Ezra 8:1).
Hence, Jesus’ answer must have come as a shock. Jesus affirms that God wants all persons to enjoy eternal life with Him. But he stresses the need for constant fidelity and vigilance throughout our lives. Thus, Jesus reminds us thatneven though God wants all of us to be saved, we all need to work at it.
Entry into God’s kingdom is not automatically granted, based purely on religious Faith or nationality, so we cannot presume God’s mercy and do nothing by way of response to God’s invitation.
Jesus stresses that to attain the kingdom, we need constant fidelity and vigilance throughout our lives. Jesus also insisted that salvation was an urgent matter. We must enter through the “narrow gate” of sacrificial and selfless service.
If anyone desires to come after me, let him:
- Deny himself
- Take up his cross daily
- Follow Me” (Lk 9:23).
This denying, this taking the cross, this following is EVERYDAY of our life, until we are with him…
“A loose wire gives out no musical note; but fasten the ends, and the piano, the harp or the violin is born. Free steam drives no machine but hamper and confine it with piston and turbine and you have the great world of machinery made possible… Our lives must be disciplined, if we are to be of any real service in this world.”
– Editorial, War Cry Magazine, Michael Green
If you are going to walk with Jesus, there are some things you will need to leave behind.
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