A Response of Love

25 August 2019. Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)

Before we had our Thirty-day Ignatian Retreat, Bishop Robbie invited our batch to reflect on the idea of “concern for others”. He asked us to pray and think about this idea to help our seminary community and at the same time, a means in our growth as a person and as a future priest. He further explained that this “concern for others” encompasses all—from the smallest deeds such as returning things to where we got them, making sure that we leave the room clean after using it, and even up to the most challenging acts such as accompanying and mentoring a brother in the community. After Bishop Robbie’s invitation, his words started to take root in me. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, the awareness of this invitation has changed me in many ways especially in my concern for others.

                The Gospel for today reminds me of that same invitation: a response of love by our concern for the other. Jesus is reminding us that entering the Kingdom does not lie with God but with our response to the divine invitation to love and care for others. God loved us first, and so he gives us many opportunities to respond to this love by our self-giving and self-sacrifice for others. He keeps His door open and always welcomes us to enter in His Kingdom. I am invited by today’s Gospel to be constantly aware of every situation and opportunity to respond to His love. No matter how seemingly insignificant that act may be, I must always strive to the best of my capacity in caring and loving others. I should always share myself joyfully to others, mindful of the love and gifts God is bestowing on me. I must also remember not to be a burden and hindrance to others by putting a lot of things in their baggage. Instead, I must always grab the opportunity to help those people with heavy baggage by accompaniment and journeying together.

The Gospel Today

Luke 13: 22 – 30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. 
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” 
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough. 
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from. 
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. 
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

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