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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week 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 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.”

«Strive to enter through the narrow gate»

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, will only a few people 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, will only a few people 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 delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet 3:9).

Jesus replies: “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.’” (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 Magisterium of the Church? “Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (…) and you yourselves cast out.” (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.”