Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time 2022

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Is 66:18-21 
Heb 12:5-7, 11-1
Lk 13:22-30.

The Narrow Gate

I recently saw a cartoon about who will enter heaven. There were two lines at the door to heaven. The one on the left was labeled “preapproved” and it was filled with all sorts of animals quickly passing through. The one on the right was long and slow with humans waiting for approval to enter the narrow gate.

Animals, of course, are loving, innocent of negative feelings, and loyal. Humans are a different story.

The parable in Sunday’s gospel is a prophetic warning for us to live lives of love, repentance and sincere commitment to God’s Word in order to enter the kingdom of God.

The important question is not who is going to be saved and who isn’t going to be saved but, rather, how do we live our lives now?

In the gospel Jesus just got done telling the crowd what his teaching is all about. It has nothing to do with the next life. It has everything to do with this life now.

We have read and heard the words of scripture telling us about Jesus’ preaching, teaching and healing. Jesus modeled what it means to be a committed person who loves God above all else and how we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Our lives should not be just lip service about our beliefs, but should be the real thing. Our lives should be lived not only in imitation of Jesus, but in the real word, should show us as being the presence of Jesus’s voice, touch and actions for everyone we meet.

Is this easy? No, but the cost of honest and real commitment will involve sacrifice. It will be the test that allows us to enter through the narrow gate when our life ends on this earth. Hopefully, we will be “preapproved”

In what way do your words and actions reflect a deep commitment to your loving God?

What can you do this week that illustrates your imitation of Jesus in your daily actions?

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