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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday 30th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Eph 6:1-9): Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, willingly serving the Lord and not men, knowing that each will be requited from the Lord for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.
Responsorial Psalm: 144
R/. The Lord is faithful in all his words.
Let all your works give you thanks, o Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.

Making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Thess 2:14): Alleluia. God has called us through the Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 13,22-30): Jesus went through towns and villages teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?». And Jesus answered, «Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door calling: ‘Lord, open to us’. But he will say to you: ‘I do not know where you come from’. Then you will say: ‘We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets!’. But he will reply: ‘I don't know where you come from. Away from me all you workers of evil’. You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last will be the first, and others who were first will be last!».

«Do your best to enter by the narrow door»

Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés (Tarragona, Spain)

Today, on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus stops for a moment and someone takes advantage of it to ask him: «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?» (Lk 13:23). It seems that, by listening to Jesus' words, the man has become exceedingly worried. It goes without saying that his doctrine is marvelous and appealing; but it entails some demands, which are not so attractive any more. But, should this man live the Gospel according to his own liking, with a “customized moral”, which would his salvation probabilities be?

Ask, therefore: «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?». Jesus does not accept this approach. Our salvation is too serious a subject to overcome it with a calculation of probabilities. «The Lord does not wishes that any should perish but that all should come to repentance» (2Pet 3:9).

Jesus replies: «Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door calling: ‘Lord, open to us’. But he will say to you: ‘I do not know where you come from’» (Lk 13:24-25). How can these sheep belong to his own flock if they do not even follow the Good Shepherd, nor do they abide by the Magistery of the Church? «Away from me all you workers of evil. You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob (…), and you yourselves left outside» (Lk 13:27-28).

Neither Jesus nor the Church are afraid of tarnishing our God Father's image when they reveal the mystery of hell. As the Catechism of the Church asserts, «The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion» (n. 1036).

Let's stop “being too clever by half” and to make so many calculations. Let's hurry up to enter by the narrow gate, restarting as many times as needed, and trusting in His mercy. St. Josemaria says «All that which worries you for the moment, is of relative importance. What is of absolute importance is that you be happy, that you be saved».

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