Monday, August 22, 2022

Homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C


Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”


1)    First of all, that same question is asked by lots of people today to Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”  But see what Jesus does; He doesn’t answer the question.  And really, what good would it have done if Jesus had answered that question? 


If Jesus had said “Yes only a few will be saved”, everyone would still wonder “But will I be saved?” 


And likewise if Jesus had answered, “No, lots of people will be saved” that answer leaves the individual person still wondering about their salvation.  Instead of answering the question, Jesus responds with this line “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”.  It seems to me that one of the things Jesus is doing here is He is again restating the importance of following His teachings in this moment, right now, today.  And then we are to do the same thing the next day, and if we string enough days together where we cooperate with God’s plan, then Heaven will be there for us at the end.


2)    Secondly, that is what I love about being Catholic…the Church echoes the teachings of Jesus Christ and gets us to focus on the here and now as the only arena of spiritual battle of importance.  So many of us are worried and even haunted by the sins in our past, but one confession restores us back to full spiritual strength. 


At the same time, so many of are worried and fearful for what the future will hold, but Christ encourages us to trust in Him.  And Christ and His Bride the Catholic Church tell us a thousand different ways that the present moment is where Christ is to be found, and He is most clearly found in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, and the central Sacrament of the Catholic Church is what we are celebrate here in this particular Mass.


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for shepherding us through our past, and also shepherding us through our fears of what will come, and for encouraging us to continue to strive to enter through the narrow gate! 

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