Homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: The Children for the Kingdom
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday August 25 2019
(Lk. 13:22-30) Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked about who can be saved. Jesus went on to teach them about the difficulty of entering the Kingdom. Worse will be when we are not recognized by the Lord when we knock at the door of the Kingdom. It is painful enough not to be recognized by others. It is most painful when we are not recognized by the Lord.
Have you ever experienced being mistaken for somebody or not recognized at all? The feeling is not good. You feel like an outsider. You do not belong. Rejected. It becomes more serious and worrisome when it is the Lord who does not know us. How will we feel when at the door of the Kingdom, Jesus will deny us? What will we say? Baptized. Check. Confirmed. Check. Sunday masses, processions, rosaries, adoration chapel. All check. Still, the Lord will say, “I do not know you!” Married in church, celebrate Christmas and Easter, children in Catholic schools, donations to the church, pilgrimages to the Holy Land. All check. Are these enough?
We can even tattoo our whole body with crosses, adorn our homes with a lot of statues of saints, pray everyday, and perform all devotions. But they will not be enough unless we do acts of goodness and follow the will of the Father. Loving God and our neighbor must be concrete and not limited to prayers and devotions. Once when Jesus was visited by His brothers and sisters and mother, He told His disciples that His brother, sister and mother are those who do the will of the Father. It should be our heart which is conformed to the Lord. It is more imbibing the Christian spirit. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
It does not end there. Are we willing to give up everything for the Kingdom? Remember the rich man who wanted to attain eternal life? He followed the commandments since he was young. But it was not enough. Jesus commanded him to sell everything and follow Him. He did not. The Kingdom was not enough for his riches. He went away sad. Jesus was sad for him too. Jesus should be able to see poverty in us. Poverty in the sense that we should be willing to give up everything for Him.
The point for reflection this Sunday is whether we have attained that point when we will be recognized by the Lord when we get to the door of the Kingdom. All our pious activities are not necessarily useless. They are good in the sense that they help us know, love and serve God. But we do not remain in them. Good acts should compliment them. These good acts and avoidance of evil will make our relationship with the Lord better and stronger. Making that our way of life transforms us to be good children for the Kingdom. And in the context of today’s Gospel, they are fruits of our strivings and widens the narrow gate of the Kingdom for us to pass joyfully.