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(Part 117)


August 25, 2019

Today’s readings:
Isaiah 66:18-21
Psalm 117:1-2
Hebrews 12:5-13
Luke 13:22-30

Someone asked Jesus a question which is very relevant even today. “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Lk 13:23). Indeed, today darkness and sin are widespread. Many are not living their lives according to God’s ways. This is true even for some Catholics.

  • The one who receives Holy Communion but does not believe in the Real Presence.
  • The self-proclaimed devout Catholic politician who is pro-abortion.
  • The priest who celebrates Mass but is in a homosexual relationship.

The above will be surprised at the last judgment, when Jesus says to them, “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!” (Lk 13:27). What will keep us from remaining standing outside the door and not being let in by Jesus?

First, we must know that salvation is not just knowing about Jesus and even interacting with him. “We ate and drank in your company” (Lk 13:26a). We may still go to church and even eat the body of the Lord, but unless we live lives of righteousness, we will not be let in.

Second, it is also not just about receiving formation as Christians. It is not saying to Jesus, “you taught in our streets.” (Lk 13:26b). Yes, Jesus taught, but did we listen? Did we live out his teachings? As has been said, many Catholics are catechized and sacramentalized, but are not evangelized. They have heard about Jesus, but they do not really know him. They have met him in some way, but are not living life according to his prescriptions.

Third, we must “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Lk 13:24a). The road to perdition is wide and attractive, but the only way to salvation is the narrow door of holiness and obedience to God’s will.

Fourth, we must look to the discipline of God, “for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines” (Heb 12:6a). Many Christians today are not into self-denial and embracing the cross. They are just enjoying what the fallen world has to offer. The way God diverts us from the path of destruction is to discipline us whenever we stray. God does this “for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness.” (Heb 12:10b). Discipline is painful, but it “brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” (Heb 12:11b).

God wants all to be saved. God does not exclude anyone, and in fact continually seeks out the lost sheep. “His mercy for us is strong; the faithfulness of the Lord is forever.” (Ps 117:2). His intent from all time has been the same: “I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; they shall come and see my glory.” (Is 66:18). But oftentimes, we exclude ourselves.

This is where the work of evangelization and mission becomes crucial. The gospel needs to be proclaimed, and people need to be formed. Those who have already been called are the ones to do this. We work so that people meet Christ and live Christ. We are to help make disciples of all the nations. We are sent by God “to the distant coastlands which have never heard of my name, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.” (Is 66:19b). This is our work.

We are to persist in our wide work of evangelization and mission.Then perhaps many more will be saved.“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.” (Lk 13:29).May it be so!

“Praise the Lord, all you nations!” (Ps 117:1a).

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