October 28, 2020, Wednesday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time
Scripture: Luke 13:22-30
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us”, then in reply he will say to you, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.’
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
“‘Strive to enter through the narrow door. . . .“
Jesus is on his way to his destiny, to Jerusalem, and he is teaching as he goes along. Someone asks how many people will be saved. In his characteristic way, Jesus uses the question to teach about how to live. It is difficult to lift Jesus’ words out of context and present them as his teaching —-even John says that the world could not hold the books that could be written about Jesus’ teachings (see Jn. 21:25). Luke gives us gleanings that have withstood the test of time, and are clear enough for us to get the message. And what a message it is!
Jesus reminds us here that salvation, or acceptance into the kingdom, is not an easy affair. It will not be enough to say on the day of salvation, “We heard your teachings with our own ears,” if we did not embrace those teachings. Jesus is telling us not to squander the time of mercy, because the time of salvation (with judgment) will come for each person who walks this earth. It definitely requires our response and our commitment.
Let’s keep things in perspective though. Let’s not forget that Jesus has promised to walk with us. When I remember that he wants to walk with me and you, the road to the kingdom does not seem so narrow and difficult. By keeping our eyes on Jesus, “the author and pioneer of our faith,” we are led to and through the narrow door.
Lord, when I realize that you walk by my side, the road to the kingdom does not seem frightening. Demanding yes, but frightening no. I want to receive each day as a gift, accepting it for what it is. I ask you to open my eyes in love and attentiveness to the others with me on this journey, so that I will help to make it a journey of joy.
Lord, open my eyes.