August 25, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lk. 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Rolly Teng):

     Jesus said “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!”  If Jesus would tell this to you, what would you feel? Will you feel hurt or afraid?

   In today’s Gospel, Jesus is inviting us to examine our day-to-day life. Are we doing good things or not? Are we accumulating many things in our life? Jesus is telling us that the gate into heaven is narrow. We must strive to enter and to be strong enough to conquer the different trials we will encounter along the way towards heaven.

     As I reflect on this passage, I realized that if we are bringing many things with us, I think, we could not enter into the narrow gate that Jesus is telling us. Our possessions and our entire comfort zone in life represent our sins. If we want to enter or pass through this narrow gate, what we need to do is to cut down all those things in our life. I believe these sins hinder us to be in the Kingdom of God. If we want to follow Jesus and to live in His kingdom we need to respond immediately to His call and we need to reconcile to Him. St. John the Baptist shouted in the wilderness to turn away from sins and we need to believe in the Word of God.  Perhaps God placed us in this world without anything so that when the time comes, we don’t need to bring anything because He wants us to enter as soon as possible to the narrow gate of heaven.

     The challenge of today’s Gospel is to examine ourselves more if we are doing good or not. Lastly, what are the things that hinder us to enter in the kingdom of God?

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