Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
"Lord, will only a few people be saved?"
He answered them,
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
'Lord, open the door for us.'
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
I’ve been lucky enough to travel overseas and visit in Europe, especially my family’s ancestral region of Italy. I like planning for travel and reading guidebooks. Some of the advice you’ll find in those travel planners encourages you to prepare well, but then to take a risk and go off the beaten path, to sample local cuisine and customs and to be flexible and open to a change in your plans if something interesting presents itself.
That’s a good summary of the advice for disciples which Jesus gives in today’s Gospel. You’ve heard these “travel hints” for the discipleship road before: Enter by the narrow gate; be prepared for the Master’s coming; be open and flexible. Why? Because the Kingdom of God will include unexpected challenges. The people who will be welcomed to the table in the kingdom might surprise you, especially if you’re on the outside looking in!
As we listen to these Sunday selections from Luke’s Gospel, we’re encouraged to examine our own “travel plans” as Christ’s disciples. How inclusive is our parish community? How have we prepared by study and prayer to speak up for Christian values? Are we making choices for the gospel, even if they’re unpopular with the prevailing cultural values of our American society? The gospel road may be off the beaten path, but following it is the road to salvation.CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO the AUDIO.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading, Isaiah envisions a time when fugitives from Israel will proclaim God’s glory to the people of many nations. They “shall bring your brothers and sisters from all the nations to the Lord.” Where will these people be brought?
Can some of them be chosen by God to be priests and Levites? Was that expected by the Jewish people at the time of Jesus?
The second reading urges believers to accept the discipline of the Lord when it comes. Why? What reason does the letter give?
Can you see that sometimes we only learn through the suffering we endure?
This week's Gospel has Jesus traveling around on his way to Jerusalem. When someone asked him “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” how did Jesus answer that question?
There is a certain urgency when Jesus says, “Strive to enter by the narrow gate.” He seems to anticipate that there will be some who will not listen to his call. There will be some who think they will be admitted to God’s banquet who will be left outside. What is the principle, or rule, that Jesus sees? (The first shall be last and the last shall be first.)
by Susan Hines-Brigger
- The first reading talks about bringing together people from all nations. Have everyone in your family choose a different country and then learn a bit about that place. Find a time for everyone to gather and share what they have learned.
- Have some fun acting out the Gospel. One person can go outside and knock on the door and another can recite the words of the Gospel from the Bible. It will be a nice way to put into action the words that you will hear in Church this weekend.