Gospel Reflection: Twenty-First
Malvern Minute

 

TWENTY- FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

AUGUST 21, 2016

Alleluia, Alleluia.

                           I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord                                

No one comes to the Father, except through me.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 13: 22-30

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.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.  Depart from me, all you evildoers!’

And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out.  And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

Each of the four Gospels has its own unique style, or form of presentation.   St. Mark’s Gospel is the shortest Gospel, and Mark presents Jesus always on the move – healing at one place to another.  St. Matthew couches all his materials in a Jewish context because in his approach Jesus is the New MosesSt. John’s Gospel makes incredible use of symbols that have many levels of meaning.  St. Luke’s Gospel, from which we have been reading all year at Sunday Mass, has Jesus on a perpetual journey which is always leading to Jerusalem, the place of martyrdom for all prophets.

Jesus is determined to complete His appointed sojourn and to fulfill His mission, and therefore, He is Dead-Set on making his way to JerusalemHis way, and only his way will bring about salvation and eternal life for the world, because, as Jesus says of Himself:

I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord;

No one comes to the Father, except through me!

The Way of Jesus – the way of being a Christian is self-sacrifice … whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:39) — It is the only Way!

Before the followers of Jesus were called Christians at Antioch, the disciples of Christ were called the People of the Way!  Authentic Christians from the beginning knew they needed to fully and completely imitate Jesus in life and death.  The way in which Jesus lived, His attentiveness to the poor, sick and outcasts, was the narrow gate always talked about by the Christian communities.  The Way of Jesus is the narrow gate, the singular, focused way of living.  There is no duplicity; no other way will do!

So then, how can the Lord, open the door for us, if we attempt to enter by another way, or live by another way?  There is only one door, and that is Jesus Christ.  Consequently, in Gospel truth and boldness, there can be only one route of approach, only one way of living to arrive at the door and enter.

The world in its non-spiritual way and focus tries to deceive us into thinking that there are many ways, and that we should not be so narrow as to think that the way of Jesus is the only way – BUT IT IS THE ONLY WAY!  There are some ways that are similar or share in the divine way of Jesus, but the way of Jesus is the pinnacle of all those efforts.  The way of Jesus is the one and only true, complete way of God!

Saint Luke’s Gospel is clear: the one who desires to arrive at the Kingdom of God, or live in the Kingdom of heaven must follow the way of Jesus.  Following the way of Jesus requires attentiveness to the values of Jesus and determination in applying those principles to every decision we make.

This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived (1 John 2: 5-6).

Is it any wonder that the devotion that attempts to capture the finality and completeness of this way of Jesus is called: The Way of the Cross – Via Dolorosa!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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