Daily Reflection 29 October 2008: Wednesday Week 30 of the Year
Collect of the Day:
Lord, send your light to shine in our hearts.
May we always follow the path of your commandments
and never stray from it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
|The First reading
||Ephesians 6:1 – 9
|Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord – that is your duty. The commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honour your father and mother, and the promise is: and you will prosper and have a long life in the land. And parents, never drive your children to resentment but in bringing them up correct them and guide them as the Lord does.
Slaves, be obedient to the men who are called your masters in this world, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ: not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please men, but because you are slaves of Christ and wholeheartedly do the will of God. Work hard and willingly, but do it for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of men. You can be sure that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be properly rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well. And those of you who are employers, treat your slaves in the same spirit; do without threats, remembering that they and you have the same Master in heaven and he is not impressed by one person more than by another.
||Luke 13:22 – 30
|Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men !”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’
Today’s Gospel holds some wonderful truths, many think that they can obtain a certainty of salvation because they belong to a group or denomination that is more pure than the rest, or are in some ways the sole guardians of the truth or the ‘Mysteries of God’. But with God things are never that simple. Here we find Jesus talking to his contemporary Jews, who at that time more or less thought that they had a mortage on God’s Kingdom. It must have astounded them to hear of Gentiles taking part in it all, while they themselves maybe excluded. In fact this would prove to be a double mortification to them, being excluded themselves and seeing the desiped Gentiles included. The reversal can be complete as the passage about the first and the last clearly demonstrate. God’s ways are not human ways.
What we must remember is that it is not important as to which group we identify with or belong, rather it is how we put into pracitce the core values that we learn from the Gospels. Always remembering that Christianity is shown by our actions and is not a matter of just intellectual ascent.
Grant, O Lord, that my heart may neither desire nor seek anything but what is necessary for the fulfillment of Your Holy Will. May health or sickness, riches or poverty, honors or contempt, humiliations, leave my soul in that state of perfect detachment to which I desire to attain for Your greater honor and Your greater glory. +Amen. –St. Ignatius Loyola