Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
Augst 22 A..D. 2010
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 117:1, 2
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Many years ago, I remember teaching a play to students in the seminary about some "righteous" people who had died and were being admitted into heaven. To their dismay they spotted many people they never expected to find there, people they did not think worthy of heaven. Because these righteous were guilty of pride and anger at the sight, they found themselves tumbling down to hell!
I thought of that story while reading the Scriptures for this Sunday. In St. Luke's gospel, someone asks Jesus, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" Then Jesus speaks of the difficulties in entering heaven, even for the chosen people. Many of the righteous will be rejected for their pride, and will be surprised to see many others, from the East and West, the North and South, recline at the table in the kingdom of God. He closes His discourse with the comment, "For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last." (Luke 13:30)
Jesusí words are puzzling. How can we possibly know if we're on the right track, and if we're really going through that narrow gate? We need to pay close attention to today's second reading from Hebrews. The writer tells us not to disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart, for they come from the loving hand of the Father who is testing us. "For what son is there, whom his father does not discipline?" The Lord's discipline makes us truly righteous and should be a cause for joy. That second reading gives us wonderful encouragement in the words: "So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet!" The Christian life is not for the fainthearted!
God decided long ago to open up the kingdom to all nations (first reading). The lesson for us today is clear: in humility, discipline, and openness, we must work our way through the narrow door that leads to life.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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