Homily — 21st Sunday OT C 8/22/10

Homily — 21st Sunday OT C 8/22/10

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

That refrain from today’s Psalm are some of the final words Jesus said to us right before He Ascended to Heaven.

He said that day: Go out to all the world and proclaim the Gospel, the Good News, to all creatures. He who believes in this Gospel and immerses himself in it will be saved.

Each of us therefore is called by Jesus to bring His Gospel to all peoples without exception.

That’s because the Gospel and the Gospel alone brings us what Jesus calls Salvation: Salvation isn’t just heaven at the end of our lives, it’s heaven even here and now, even in the midst of the trials of this world.

The Gospel brings us true and lasting peace, true and lasting freedom, true and lasting unity with God and our neighbor, the Gospel gives us purpose and direction in life, it helps us to see what God’s perfect will is for us, why God created us, the Gospel if we immerse ourselves in it will enable us to live life to the fullest.

But before a person can receive all these precious treasures I’ve just mentioned, a person first needs to do what Jesus says in today’s Gospel:

Strive to enter through the narrow gate.

The broad, spacious, beautiful land which is the Kingdom of God can only be entered through a long, steep, narrow gateway.

And in John Chapter 10, Jesus says Amen, amen I say to you, I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will find Green Pastures.

But we must strive with all our being to enter this narrow gate. For Jesus says many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.

Jesus is saying that even among those trying to follow Him, many won’t have the strength needed to be saved.

Many won’t be strong enough in faith, won’t be strong enough in moral virtue, won’t be strong enough in humility, in awareness of their need for God to help them.

Jesus is telling us this today because He loves us, and doesn’t want us to be among those “many” lukewarm believers who will find themselves locked out of Heaven on judgment day.

In the second reading, the author of the letter to the Hebrews says “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord”.

If we are truly disciples, we need to have discipline in our life. We need to have the discipline of a daily prayer life, we need to have the discipline of daily examining our consciences to see if we are loving God with our whole heart soul mind and strength and our neighbor as our selves,we need to have the discipline of living a life of simplicity and self denial.  We need to have the discipline to when needed enter that narrow door of the confessional and make a good confession of our sins to a priest.

If we don’t disdain the discipline of the Lord, and if we endure the trials and crosses of life as God’s way of forming us into the image of his Son, we will soon be strong enough to pass all the way through the narrow gate and into the broad pastures of Christ’s Kingdom.

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