OMELIE / Omelie EN

25 ago 2019
25/08/2019 – 21st Sunday in O. T. Year C

25/08/2019 – 21st Sunday in O. T. Year C

Reading 1 IS 66,18b-21 * Psalm 116/117 * Reading 2 HEB 12,5-7.11-13 * Gospel LK 13,22-30


The letter to the Hebrews talks about discipline given by God, discipline which could make us suffer. When someone is disciplining a brother, he suffers first because he realises that the life of dear ones is in danger, and the fault is theirs only. If you are a parent, you know how much you can suffer when you see children form reproachable habits or bad ones for health, or start going around with a company that is ruining their good qualities and compromising their faith and their future. Parents, even if they are not happy about it, discipline their children, even making them suffer and risking to be judged by them as bad or not in touch with the times. True love lets overcome even this difficulty. God too acts using this love towards us, because he considers us and treats us as His children. The author of the letter to the Hebrews interprets the sufferings that are in our lives as discipline coming from God. In fact we need to be disciplined, because often we are tempted to go down paths following the sweet and fascinating seductions of the devil, tricks that are bringing us to ruin in the end. Inside us, selfishness and pride are so well established, that we are not able to recognise them anymore. For example, we have grown used even to define “love”, so to justify them in us and in others, those feelings dragging us into marriage infidelity and in this way making suffer entire families and entire communities, and dishonouring the whole Church. Someone is even able to call love some impulses that open to become unfaithful to promises offered to God. Every day, every year, it is necessary, due to the hardness of our pride, some humiliation, some strong  hit, making us lower our head back down.

If we were obedient to the Father and faithful to the holy suggestions of the Gospel, the discipline would not be necessary. If we were full of love towards God and men, we would be able to go up the steep path that gets us closer to the narrow gate bringing into life. In order to start on this path it is necessary to fight, get tired, make an effort. It is necessary to desire a lot the friendship with Jesus, the only One that can give us to the Father after having perfected in us the life, the only One to be able to fill us with joy and true satisfaction.

Jesus warns even the Jews that they need to be disciplined by God. Many of them were thinking they were already safe forever only for the fact that they were Jews. The Jews become Christian too could brag two times more about their situation, and think they were fine. And today we, either because we are generous with our neighbours, or because we take part in the Sunday mass, or because we are friends with some religious people, or because of any other good reason, feel safe and behave as we were sure that the paradise is a right of ours. Jesus wants to warn us, wants to correct our fake sense of safety. If we do not go through the narrow gate, He will not be able to welcome us in His communion: He does not have any other door which He can let us through. It will not be of any advantage bragging to have heard His teachings or to have eaten next to Him. Which one is the narrow gate? Where we can find it? Who does show it to us?

A lady has given me a drawing: a door in the shape of a cross. The door is really tight, you can pass through it only if you stretch out your arms like Jesus on the cross. The hands cannot carry any luggage, they would not fit. Are you able to pass through such a door? Are we going to try? To make an effort is necessary, the effort to leave everything, to take on Jesus’ “shape” while He offers His life to the Father, to lift the arms like someone who is praying and wants to hug the whole world.

If we do not approach “the narrow gate” many others will pass us, all the others, the poor of the world, the “rubbish” of society, the sinners who still adore deaf idols, but who joyfully will welcome the voice of the true God who speaks through Jesus’ mouth! We are happy they can pass, but we cannot accept to be left outside. Who is left outside finds “wailing and grinding of teeth”, says the Lord, who would not like to have to tell us, among everyone: “I do not know where you are from”.

Isaiah prefigures all peoples approaching God, thanks to random preachers. “They shall come and see my glory”, says the prophet in order to create a holy jealousy in those who are in Jerusalem, so them too will listen to and obey God. Today we can think of ourselves too as among those who are already in Jerusalem and need to be reminded, because we have relaxed in a comfortable life without a true conversion to the Lord.

When Jesus talks about a narrow gate, He is walking right towards Jerusalem: here He will be raised on the cross, He will open for us the gate of selfless love, of self-sacrifice, so our life will take part in the life of the God who is love! Through that door we will get to the joy of a communion deep and honest with Him and with all His saints, a communion that will make us dance forever: we will give thanks to the Father for every discipline He will give us!