Select Month:Year: 
SunMonTueWedThuFri Sat
010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031



Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India

 

Subscribe and receive weekly Homilies

*Name:
*Email:

Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission

Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

Contact us: [email protected]



Comments
*Name:
*Email:
*Comments:
*Type the characters as seen on the image:
Captcha image

 


Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 21st Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 25, 2019
Sunday of the 21st Week in the Ordinary Time

Is 66: 18-21
Psalm117:1,2
Heb 12: 5-7, 11-13
Lk 13: 22-30

Gospel Reading

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
Enter by the Narrow Gate
 
Pope Francis in a homily in the chapel of the Domus Santa Marta said, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’  ‘Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!” But the choice to accept its reach is our own.

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus says that the door is open, but narrow. “Do your best to enter through the narrow door.”

As Jesus was walking along his way to Jerusalem someone asked him, “Lord is it true that few people will be saved?”  He wanted to the number of people or who all will be given entry pass.  It is interesting to note that Jesus sets aside the question. Rather than inquisitiveness about the number, what matters for Jesus, is  if one is really interested in sitting with God and the saints at the eschatological banquet, it is the decision that he should make in response to his proclamation of the Gospel.

The door to heaven is narrow, but it is not restrictive. According to Jesus the gate is open to all, no restrictions, no taxes. But the door to heaven is narrow. Still it is wide enough to welcome people from all nations.  Perhaps some of Jesus’ listeners were surprised to hear his conclusion.  “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.  Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”  Those who assumed their automatic entrance into heaven might find themselves outside at the end of the line when the door is shut.
  But the door is still wide enough to welcome people from all corners of the world.  Saint John’s vision of heaven in the book of Revelation confirms Jesus’ words: “I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10).

The average Jew took heaven for granted because most Jewish people held the view that all Jews excluding the very worst would get into heaven. They considered themselves as ‘inside’ people. They thought of themselves as ‘saved’ people simply because of their race, or their Israelite descent.  “We have Abraham as our forefather,” they would say. 

 His prophetic saying, of course, is addressed to the Jews of his time, but what does it mean to us Christians?  As Christians we have become members of the people of God.
 Just as the Jews became members of the covenant at Sinai by means of circumcision, so Christians become part of the covenant in Jesus through baptism.  Like the Israelites of the Old Testament, we are the sons of Abraham in the New Testament.  Like them, we are in a privileged position; we are the insiders.  Unlike other world religions and sects, we have the complete means of salvation.  But we cannot rely merely on this privileged status.  We cannot claim it; to use Luke’s words, “We ate and drunk in your company and you taught in our streets” (Luke 13:26).  For though it is true that we are saved by Jesus, yet we cannot just sit back and relax, we have to “strive to enter through the narrow gate” (Luke 13:24).

Striving to enter the narrow gate is our response to what God has done in Jesus to save us.  In the phenomenon of love, God loves all but if we are not reciprocating that love we do not enjoy the share of it. The phenomenology of salvation is like that.  It is not complete if only the action of Christ is present, and the Christian does not fully respond to his saving work.  Says the Second Vatican Council: “He is not saved, however, who, though he is part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity.  He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only as a ‘bodily’ manner and not ‘in his heart’.  All the sons of the Church should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ.  If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word, and deed, not only will they not be saved, but they will be the more severely judged” (Lumen gentium14).  While those outside the Church partake of the banquet (Lumen gentium 16; Luke 13:29), the sons of Abraham, those inside, are cast out.

Jesus uses the example of the narrow gate elsewhere but in a different context, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" (Mt 19:24) The path is narrow, only persons can pass, not the wealth and things you accumulate; only persons matter.

So let us not make all kinds of things our worry and burden. Let us live a human life to the full. Invest all you have in that human life of yours and that of others. The fullness of life we attain when we are fully human. For that he gives only one law, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (Jn 13: 34) Yes, that is the entry pass to go through the narrow gate.

Fr. James M L CMI

Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

Get it on Google Play

Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


Back To Current Homilies