Homily for Wednesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Strive to enter by the narrow gate.
By: Rev. Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday October 30 2019
READINGS: Rom 8: 26-30, Ps. 13, Luke 13: 22-30
From the dawn of creation God has willed that man be saved and remain with him. Little wonder he made man in his image and likeness which has the germ that cannot perish which is immortality itself. This is why God infused in man the person of his Spirit. Man bears the Spirit of God and that Spirit is the connector between man and God and a sure link of man to his Maker and Creator God. The wisdom of God and love he has for man made him equip him with the divine army – The Guardian Angel and the great intercessors- The Saints and guided him so much with the ministry of the Angels and Archangels. This is in the bid that when man is weakened by sin and circumstances, God would enable him to be strong again such and so he said that his grace is enough for man and that his power is made manifest in his weakness. Since man is finite and limited in many ways he would always be in need of God and so when his spirit is weighed down that he is not able to pray, that same Divine Connector- the Spirit will spring up in him and make the plea (pray in and for him). Since that Spirit issues and proceeds from the Father and the Son as the Nicene Creed proclaims, he speaks in words that are according to the mind of God and that makes his plea for man acceptable. It is the Spirit that knows perfectly well what God means and needs and how best to offer prayers and entreaty before God aloud and in silent tears.
Beloved, this is the mystery of the Love of God in us and for man. God wills that man should turn everything to their good (meaning to their purpose of being) and that would mean cooperating with God. Once man does this even by knowing the purpose of his being created, then he invariably cooperates with God and then the blessings kept in stock for man would be realized. We are the ones that God has called to this world with a purpose to fulfil; he chose us long ago from creation so that we may become true images and replica of his Son who is the eldest brother of us in the beloved as adopted children. God did not just call us to this purpose but he justified us with his Grace and he did this that we might share in his glory that would be revealed as children of God in the world to come. God has good plans and will for us and this we must work out in fear and trembling. And so, Jesus keeps teaching us daily in our various predicaments of life. He did not intend that few of us be saved, no, but that all might be saved and come to the glory of God. God had played his own part and keeps playing the rest in Christ Jesus who ministers to us daily in the Church and the Sacraments. He has instructed us on what we must do it. The responsibility to achieve our fate in him rests on our hands.
Beloved, this is why Jesus tells us today what our part must be: Try to enter by the narrow Gate. What does that narrow Gate mean and gate to where? A gate is an entrance to a city or a house. It means that we are on transit; on a journey to our destiny. The scripture was emphatic when it says that our homeland is heaven. So our life is a journey to Heaven. Heaven as a home has a gate. Gates are of varied sizes and types. The one who came from heaven and who knows it well describes the gate of it. He says that it is narrow and so we shall strive to enter it through that gate that is narrow. Any other gate that is easy, wide and spacious cannot be the gate to heaven but to the place of destruction and journey to perdition. It is s symbolic way of telling us that the entrance has some frictions, challenged to face and uneasiness. There must be a conscious plan and carefulness to enter through that gate that is narrow. You must meet people trying to enter too, then patience and consideration is needed, courtesy and respect of others is necessary at that gate. Patience and attention must be considered.
Beloved, Jesus said that many would try to enter it but would not succeed because caution is not applied. You must try to enter at the right time not at your will because lateness shall meet you with the closure of the door. Like Mary who hastily went to Elizabeth’s house, you must make haste now that the sun shines because a stitch in time saves nigh. Do not spoil your opportunities to enter; this is the day of salvation. Your excuses and reasons or past actions with the saints and the Church can’t save you. Being a communicant, a Church donor, a society member cannot be enough and convincing but your practical and punctual acts will win you your life.
May Jesus give us the grace to work out our salvation now and to know that we are specially chosen and then live as such. We pray that we may not delay in such a manner that the gate would be locked at us or live our lives as those who intend to go into the wild gate of perdition, through Christ our Lord Amen.
Rev. Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmf