October 30, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time 

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Daniel Voltaire Hui):

     “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”, if you will read this sign before entering a certain place, will you still continue? If there is another option, let’s say another gate which is wider and bigger, which will you choose? I will not be surprised if many will choose the wider and bigger gate, for today’s time, whatever is easy, comfortable, popular and good becomes the choice of many. Isn’t this the common theme that advertisers capitalize to persuade the people to take their products? I guess this is why lesser and lesser men and women opt for consecrated life. I myself before I entered the seminary, I had a notion that religious life particularly priestly life is difficult, because I will be living alone for the rest of my life. It will not be comfortable since I will not have a wife or a family of my own whom I could rely on. That is why it is not popular and not treated as good by many. Not only until I saw and experienced for myself the life that I was anxious about. Call it a dare, but would you take this path if given a choice?

     The Gospel for tomorrow speaks of how we could be saved. The salvation that God is offering is for everyone; everyone who is willing to take and everyone who is open to accept it. No condition or anything, only an instruction to strive to enter the narrow gate; and to do it, one is required to exert effort, perseverance, courage, faith and love. No one could do such thing without these standards. These are necessary for our salvation.

     Looking at my seminary formation, the standards that was stated is not far from what I am trying to live out. Without these things I could not pursue priesthood. More than anything else priesthood is not a kind of life per se, but a way of life. It is something you do not attain but you need to live out, that is why it requires continuous effort, perseverance, courage, faith and love. Like the salvation that comes from God, it is not a destination which we need to arrive at but a state that we need to be in which God is offering us. To take it is not only a decision but also a conviction. Salvation is for all, but the question is, are you willing to accept it?

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