FIRST READING :IS 66:18-21
Thus says the LORD:
I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory.
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.
SECOND READING : HEB 12:5-7, 11-13
Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Luke
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.”
Sunday of 21th Week in Ordinary Time – (Luke 13:22-30)
Dear People of God,
The Word of God today invites everyone to fight to pass through the narrow gate into the Kingdom of Heaven. Why do we have to go through a narrow gate to enter the Kingdom? This is the question that God poses for each person to ponder.
So what is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of Heaven is the happiest place, the most peaceful, the most beautiful, the brightest, and there is no other place where there is a happy life like the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is the ultimate goal that humanity must seek.
Because God’s Will wants man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, God descended from heaven to become a human being, becoming like man, living with man to share our slavery status, in order to save us from slavery and the bondage of sin and death. He brought the very Word of God the Father to earth to teach people to live and practice according to God’s Love commandments: Let’s Love, charity, forgiveness, humility, self-abasement, simplicity, smallness, lowliness before God the Father.
In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the happiest and brightest place, man must fight their way through the narrow gate by doing the following:
- Renounce sin and all worldly passions.
- Put aside all things that are transitory material possessions in order to live completely and obey God’s commandments.
- Become lowly before God, to become a small, simple person who can only rely entirely on God’s power and strength, to carry out His commandments.
It is a long spiritual battle while living on this earth. The world and Satan will find ways to tempt and draw human souls away from God. It can’t be denied that to enter the Kingdom of God is not easy. We will have to shed blood and fight to the end to get rid of bad habits.
Therefore, God’s Word today, God tells everyone that: In order to enter His Kingdom, man will have to undergo God’s purification. He will instruct and send painful purifications of both soul and body. But the purification of God given to man is the purification of Love. Because of God’s love for man, He gives difficulties and challenges. But the one who is steadfast and enduring to the end will overcome this purification, will have the strength to fight the world to get rid of what is thorns, pride, anger, sin, passion; this helps that person’s soul have the holiness and serenity to enter through the narrow gate into the Kingdom of Heaven.
God loves people so He doesn’t want to lose a soul. Therefore, He invites all His children to choose wisely, that is, to choose the future Kingdom of God. Each person should ask themselves: When God calls us out of this world, where will our souls go? The answer depends on each person while living in this world choose to follow God or follow the world; choose to live according to the call of God or to the call of the world?
To live according to God’s call is to always fight the world, always know how to give up what displeases God, and always listen to and practice according to His corrections. If you can live like that, then He will give you the reward of Kingdom of Heaven, the happiness place in the world. And if living according to the invitation of the world, people are free to live satisfied with passions, sins, injustices; and as a result, those souls will not receive the Kingdom reward, because they did not listen to, did not carry out the Word of God, did not undergo God’s purification, and did not fight through the narrow gate enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
God also told people: God always gives people the freedom to make their own choices. One is to choose God, the other is to choose to live according to the callings of the world. Whoever is wise knows how to choose God and do what He commanded: to live in love, to forgive, to be humble, to humble himself, to always obey God, and to undergo His purification, God will give reward the happiness of the Kingdom in the future as He promised.
Thanks be to God. Amen.