1. Is 66:18-21
2. Heb 12:5-7,11-13
Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

                                          " A narrow door"

It is my hope that we are all familiar to a thing called a door. A door says a lot to us. A door can free us or imprison us. A door can make us feel comfortable or make us feel insecure. A door can make us feel comfortable or uncover us. Along our journey of faith we have already encountered a lot of doors, and we will always encounter doors.

In our today's gospel someone asked Jesus: " Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?" He replied: " strive to enter by the narrow door; for many; I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able," ( v24).

Jesus went on to say by using the parable that when the owner of the house has got up and shut the door and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying: " Lord open to us," then in reply he will say to you, " I do not know where you come from." Then you will begin to say: We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets." But the Lord will say: " I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers," ( vv25-27)

What is the most point of interest in this parable? (vv25-27) is that those who tried to enter heaven, they said: " We ate and drank with you." They ate and drank with the Lord Jesus. From these words we can understand one implication, that they were receiving  the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. If such is the case why then are they lost? why does Jesus say that he does not know where they come from, all evil doers, in this question we can have 2 possible answers.

In a first place it may refer to those who eat the Bread or drink the cup in an unworthy manner. In this case St. Paul said," Whoever, therefore, eats this bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. In other words those who receive Holy communion in a state of sin, they will receive judgment against themselves. It is under this background that the Lord Jesus instituted the sacrament of confession. The sacrament is purposely for the soul to be forgiven of its sins, to be made righteous in the eyes of God.

The second possible reason as to why many are lost is because they do not chose the narrow door. This means they prefer a religion that is not too demanding, one that does not make it mandatory to attend mass every day. They want their way, not God's way. For instance by this they support immoral way of life, they support culture of death like abortion, death penalty, divorce, same sex marriage, corruption etc.

What can we say about the narrow door? this is the symbol of the hardship of life for those who follow Jesus. It is the symbol of accepting poverty, being of charitable heart, forgiving others, being patient and many others. It symbolizes a situation of not being ashamed of Jesus, of going forward and proudly speaking of His salvation. It is symbolic of accepting persecution for the sake of the most name Holy Name of Jesus. Jesus said: "Those who are ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels," ( Mk 8:38).

How can one be saved? the answer is apparent, that is to be a friend of God. There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who are being used by God for His purposes and those who are using God for their own purposes. Between the two, one is serving God and the other is serving their own desires. Thus for us who are trying to become friends of God, let us try to do what is expected of us by God. We are not to live for ourselves but to live for God and respond to His call and purpose.

In relation to our readings today who is a good catholic? the good Catholics are the ones who recognize that they are sinners and that they have to go to church to listen and understand the word and getting to know it. They are practicing their faith because if they do not do this, they know they are not following Christ well. To be good Christian means more than just going to Mass once a week, although, of course, it also includes this. To be a Christian is to grow spiritually while we follow Christ honestly and humbly. 

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Chapisha Maoni