Wednesday, October 29, 2014
30th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 6:1-9
Gospel: Luke 13:22-30
Jesus went through towns and villages teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?”
And Jesus answered, “Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door calling: ‘Lord, open to us.’ But he will say to you: ‘I do not know where you come from.’
“Then you will say: We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets! But he will reply: ‘I don’t know where you come from. Away from me all you workers of evil.’
“You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last will be the first, and others who were first will be last!”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Gospel is best interpreted in connection with Luke 13:1-9 where Jesus clarified that it was not a punishment for personal sins that the Galileans suffered under the hands of Pilate. It was Pilate who had them killed and had their blood mixed with the sacrifice offered to false gods. This clarification notwithstanding, Jesus warned his listeners that they could end up like those Galileans if they refused to repent.
Today’s Gospel passage from Luke 13:22-30 builds on this call to repentance by stressing on Christianity’s demand for total allegiance to Jesus. This is the meaning of the exhortation to strive to enter by the narrow door. Total allegiance narrows down our life’s options to choices that build strong relationship with Jesus. This is not slavery since this narrow path is freely taken. One perseveres if he draws strength from the spirit of repentance. The deeper the repentance, the more profound one can develop his allegiance to Jesus.
This total allegiance raises the bar of discipleship above casual eating and drinking with Jesus. Beyond casual encounter with him, a disciple shares in Jesus’ life, the life he lived with the poor. Today’s Gospel warns us that once the door is shut, no amount of knocking will set the door open, not even to those who claim that they have had “bonding moments” with the Lord eating and drinking with him.
This call to total allegiance is issued to “all people coming from east and west, from north and south” (verse 29). But those who fail to enter into deeper relationship with Jesus will be left out from the banquet hall where their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob also sit. Outside the banquet hall they will wail and grind their teeth, a far worse state than those of the Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with the sacrifice to false gods. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, help us persevere in the narrow path that leads to life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Narcisus, Bishop. It is said that he is the 30th bishop of Jerusalem. In the Archdiocese of Cebu, his Feast is celebrated today in Consolacion.