Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I










Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The possibility of attaining salvation

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Wednesday October 27 2021

Wednesday – Week 30
Lk 13:22-30

He 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 door, 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.”

“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Most likely the man who asked this question expects the answer to be ‘yes’, and he believes he is one of those chosen few who will be saved. This is the spirit of entitlement so common among many Jews, for they take particular pride in being members of the Chosen People of God.

But Jesus does not answer the question directly. Instead, He implies that being a member of the Chosen People is not a guarantee of salvation. He, then, gives a strong admonition: “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”

The Lord likens the possibility of attaining salvation to a struggle to enter through the narrow door. One cannot be complacent about the whole thing. This does not only refer to the Jews. This is also a warning to all Christians, especially those who believe that their salvation is assured simply because they are members of the Church through the baptism they received.

Entering through the narrow door means several things: First, it entails exerting the greatest amount of effort in one’s commitment to the Christian values and standards. Clearly, it is never enough to be just in Christ’s company or to have heard His teaching: “And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’” Such is the case of so many baptized Catholics who are content with the routinary fulfillment of a few religious obligations but without really practicing the teachings of the Lord. Entering the “narrow door” is a struggle to actively commit oneself to living the Gospel in his daily life.

Second, as experience teaches us, entering a narrow door becomes truly difficult when one is trying to bring in huge and heavy suitcases. The image of a narrow door, then, is a call to renunciation and detachment from the world. Pope Benedict XVI points this out: “All, can enter eternal life but for everyone, the door is narrow. They are not privileged. The path to the eternal life is open to all but it is narrow because it’s demanding, asks for commitment, abnegation and the mortification of selfishness.”

And finally, when the door is narrow, the ones who can easily pass through are the little ones: “Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). Entering the narrow door, then, according to Pope Benedict XVI, “means we must commit ourselves to being small, that is humble of heart like Jesus, like Mary, His and our mother.”

A fitting conclusion comes from the words of St. Cyril of Alexandria:
“Whoever would enter, must first before everything else, possess an upright and uncorrupted faith and then a spotless morality; in which, there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness. One who has attained to this in mind and spiritual strength, will enter easily, by the narrow door and run along the narrow way.
‘Wide is the door and broad then way that brings down many to destruction.’ What are we to understand by its broadness? It means an unrestrained tendency toward carnal lust and a shameful and pleasure-loving life.”

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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