HOMILY FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: The Question that will ever Confront Us
BY: Fr. Justus Oruma
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 21 2022
(a) There is a question about life we cannot dismiss with the simple wave of hand; and that is the question about: “what awaits me after life on earth”. No matter how we may try to pretend not to be perturbed about this and no matter the theories of life we may formulate to suppress this, we will at some point in life be confronted with the question: “After here what next”?
(b) This existential question moved one to ask Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Lk. 13:23). Note that this question is first of all about “quantity” or “number” of people that will be saved, and what is more, it was stressing on the word “few”. We recall also the stress where “only a few” were saved”; in the Old Testament; the case where Abraham was looking for, at last only 10 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, and in case of Noah “where only a few people, 8 in all, were saved through water” (1Pt:3:20). We recall in the New Testament where Jesus says, that “the road that leads to life is narrow and constricted, “only a few” find it but the road that leads to damnation is broad and “many” enter into it. (Matt.7:13-14). And Jesus said today, “for ‘many’, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” (Lk.13:24). The question is in favour of “few” against “many”. With the trend of criminality and immorality in our time, the question that confronts us, as written in the Gospel Luke is; “if the Son of man comes will He find Faith on earth?” (Lk. 18:8)
(c) However the stress in the answer to the question given by Jesus today is not on the number of people that will be saved, whether “few” or “many” but about me and you that must have to endure all trials as disciplines from the Father so as to be saved (Heb.12:7). Whether there are “many” or “few’ that will be saved, – “am I in the number?” This is the important question that should preoccupy us. In-fact the right question that should always confront me should be: “Lord what shall I do to be saved” (Lk.18:18). To the question whether “many” or “few”, Jesus first addressed the man in particular, like you yourself -“strive to enter through the narrow gate…” Most times we spend time on counting and numbering “the many” or “the few” out there we consider already condemned but paying less attention to ourselves, whether we are disciplining ourselves and striving to be saved with the fear and trembling. Today we are confronted with the question; are we actually striving to be saved? The everlasting happiness worth striving for. Think about it today; if the Lord is to confront you after your whole life here with these words; “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me…” and the door of Heaven is closed behind you, to whom shall you go? These words are the greatest woe that can betide you! May you never hear such words from your Creator, here and hereafter. My the door of success and eternal happiness never be closed behind you.