Sunday, August 26, 2007

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 66:18-21
Heb 12:5-7, 11-13
Lk 13:22-30

We human beings are an odd lot. We claim we don't want to work hard. Wouldn't life be grand if everything came to us easily, with little or no effort? We may say it, but we don't really mean it. The things in life we appreciate the most are the things we have to work for. Indeed, the more effort expended in achieving a goal, the more we treasure the accomplishment. That need to work for something before we appreciate it is at the heart of the Gospel today. Jesus tells us to strive to enter through the narrow gate, the more difficult way. Yes, God's grace is a freely given gift, and nothing we can do will earn it. We must take this gift and use it. Last week we spoke of making a radical commitment to follow Jesus, today we learn more about just what that commitment means. Jesus wants to set us on fire with faith. Jesus gives us that fire, but we must use it. The path is not easy, there are countless distractions and pitfalls along the way. When we accept the gift of faith, the blazing fire of Christ's love, that fire can become for us a torch, a torch that guides our steps along that narrow path. It's not an easy journey. We will stumble, fall and lose our way. But when we let it, that blazing torch of faith can lead us to a goal that we will appreciate more than we can now imagine.
Deacon John
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Aug. 26, 2007