Mass & Directions

Sunday August 25th: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Francis Parish | September 16, 2019, 9:16 pm | Reflections

   In today’s Gospel from Luke 13:22-30, Jesus is asked, “will only a few people be saved?”  In response, Jesus does not quantify an answer.  Instead, he challenges those present to, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”.
   The question posed may lead us to wonder what the individual was really asking.  Were they pondering the odds of reaching paradise in consideration of the worth of their effort?  If so, Jesus’ response may not have been encouraging in that he challenged them to not choose the easy route.  Or, could they have simply been asking as a means of measuring how much effort would be required of them to gain entry?  Imagining their mindset, ‘If many will be saved, surely I am included in that because I am better than most’, they very likely may have become complacent.  Any of these scenarios are very dangerous and should give us pause to reflect on how we think about our own chance of salvation.  We cannot simply rest on the fact that we have lived a good life so far or that we’re very active in The Church as a means of earning credit.  We must be under constant self-scrutiny and through prayer and contemplation, finding new ways to challenge ourselves to grow in spirituality and in our relationship with our Lord.  Let us also reflect on the term, “narrow”.  Perhaps Jesus was speaking of a narrow gate in the sense that few will take this path, thus the gate is narrow.  It may also symbolize the need for us to strip ourselves of all the worldly baggage that we carry; a cleaving away of the world to allow us to pass.
   This week let us make an effort to do some self-examination.  Let us evaluate what we place importance on in our lives and determine if those things bring us closer to God, are neutral or take us further away from Him.  Let us make an effort to slowly eliminate those things that draw us further away from our Lord and replace them with things that help us build our relationship with Him.  Let us too, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”.
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