Gospel Reflection for the 21st Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – August 25th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from”. Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men !”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. ‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’
In a family so much love is lavished on the newborn first child and you hear them saying – that’s the end of freedom now for a good few years. Or the grandchildren come and there’s the babysitting. Life deepens and narrows. It is the narrow gate of love, the wide world of generosity. Jesus says elsewhere that love is the door to eternal life, laying down life for a friend; the cross was a narrow door.
Real love means little things a lot of the time, and with God it means time now and then to prayer and to worship, as well as loving the neighbour.
Love may narrow our lives, and also deepens it. We can find a lot of variety in life today but not enough depth. We can look for wide doors which lead to narrow gardens, unlike the narrow door of Jesus which leads to an eternal garden.
Love demands a lot as well as gives a lot. With the people we most love we are most vulnerable and they can bring the worst and the best out of us.
World of Love
The sick child, the elderly in the family, the children in prison or in a lousy marriage. The husband or wife needing a lot of care in illness or old age. The love shown by volunteers in our country and the developing world. The grandchild who is isolated and lonely and you worry. This is the world of love, the only world worth sacrificing anything for.
The condition for entering is not where you come from, whether you are first or last, whether you wear the right clothes or even turn up on time – the condition is that in the way of living God you hear the word of God daily and live by it faithfully.
Donal Neary SJ