OMELIE / Omelie EN
21 ago 2022 21/08/2022 – 21st Sunday in O. T. - year C
21/08/2022 – 21st Sunday in O. T. - year C
Reading 1 Is 66,18-21 Psalm 116 Reading 2 HEB 12,5-7.11-13 Gospel LK 13,22-30
Jesus decisively continues travelling to Jerusalem. He knows this journey is a school of spiritual formation for His disciples, who need to be prepared and guided to offer together with Him their life to God, as a sacrifice he appreciates, in stead of the sacrifices offered and burnt on the only altar of the temple.
To educate the disciples, Jesus takes advantage of the questions and doubts they are expressing. This time they listen to the answer He gives to that person who was curious to know how many people were going to be saved, or, in other words, to know how many people will go to paradise. That person sounds like Jonah, who was happy to be present at the punishment of the city of Nineveh, and this is why he wished that its inhabitants would not convert, would not obey his invitation. Furthermore, the disciples too think of the paradise as a situation of bliss men are gaining through their good deeds or good qualities: they follow the current mentality, the Pharisees’ and their Scribes’. For Jesus is not easy to answer their question: He needs to correct their outlook.
The disciples wait for their Master to name how many are the people who can follow the law, because only these will be saved. He instead will have to name how many He Himself will save with His death and resurrection. Nobody will save himself, not even with perfect deeds: everyone can be saved if they will welcome Him as Lord and Master of their lives.
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate”, Jesus tells them. Which one is the narrow gate? It is His cross. This is the gate through which we can “know” the Lord. He will have to tell many “I do not know where you are from”, because many, despite the fact that they are coming from the people God has chosen for Himself, and despite the fact that they have been doing good, they have never wanted to meet Him and they have never taken part in His life, that is His merciful love.
In fact, it is not enough having heard about Jesus or being part of a particular social circle or having listened to some of His messages, in order to be able to say people know Him. Truly know Him those who share His desires, who welcome His life, who drink with Him His cup. They who boast they were present to some of His speeches, they are not part of His people yet: He will have to let them be where they are, part of the same judgement of the world which is His enemy. Even those who have laboured a lot in life, bot because of their jobs and their sickness or because of the satisfaction they get from feeling like they are benefactors of humanity, not because of this they will be saved. Those who welcome the Son of God will be: they will have a new life, the Father’s life. Those who do not welcome Him remain distant, so also from the only true God.
Jesus has to disappoint His listeners. The most part of those who will be saved are not going to be Jews, but they will come from pagan people, as the prophets have already declared.
We too Christians need to pay attention to these words of Jesus’. The fact that we have been growing up in a people so-called Christian does not guarantee anything: each one of us needs to welcome Jesus in their life. And this is why: so our welcoming Him might be becoming His holiness and bear fruits of salvation for the world, we need to be helped, to be corrected regarding many of our behaviours.
The Christian who is accepting the correction is a good Christian. Even better, the true disciple will want to be corrected: he knows he is not perfect, that he needs help to become similar to the Son of God. The good disciple of the Lord therefore will try to find advice from some brethren who are more mature in the faith to receive suggestions, will try to describe his difficulties and his choices, so he can be corrected regarding the direction of his life.
We are walking with Jesus towards Jerusalem: we will enter through the narrow gate. We will try therefore to let ourselves be led by hand by someone who is already walking with love on the path of offering himself to the Father.