Tue, 29 October 2019
(Rm.8:26-30; Ps.13:4-6; Lk.13:22-30)
“Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?”
We question. We wonder. With the man who spoke to the Lord as He made His way toward Jerusalem, as He approached His own death, we question Jesus, “Who will be saved?” particularly as we face our own imminent death. Jesus answers the man, and so He responds to us, too. His answer is simple: “Come in through the narrow door.” His answer is wise, and comes with, and itself is, a warning to us not to take for granted the salvation by our God but to be diligent about our striving toward His kingdom, to be purposeful about our dying for Him. Those who walked with Him may have thought that this alone would be sufficient to ensure their entrance into heaven. But simply knowing Him, seeing Him, and even eating with Him will not do: He must know us. He must see us about His work as we see Him about the Father’s work – He must come in and eat with us, nourishing our souls with His daily bread of labor in His Name, of life in His Word.
Brothers and sisters, we may come to His table every day. We may eat of His Body and drink of His Blood and hear His Word proclaimed to our ears; we may be members of His Church, sitting here in these pews; we may have since birth been graced with the blessings of the sacraments and teaching of our Catholic faith – but this alone does not assure our entering into heaven. We must live that faith. We must put flesh and blood to our belief. There is no other way we can be saved, because this is our life and our life is required of us by God. It will not magically occur at the moment of death if we have not spent our lives for Him.
O brothers and sisters, we must cry out with David, “Give light to my eyes that I may not sleep in death.” We must sing to the Lord with him, “Let my heart rejoice in your salvation.” We must seek Him, seek His life, with all our hearts, that the prophetic words of Paul might become our own, that our predestination “to share the image of His Son” the Father might accomplish in us. For the Lord does call us, and we must respond. As we respond, we shall be justified – He shall enter in and cleanse us of our sin. And remaining on this path of justification we shall soon find glory with God in His eternal kingdom.
Brothers and sisters, let the will of the Lord be accomplished in us. In our moments of doubt, when we have no words with which to come to God, let us turn to the Spirit who “intercedes for the saints as God Himself wills,” “with groanings which cannot be expressed in speech.” He truly is our help in weakness. He truly is our guard on this perilous journey. Only remaining with Him and in His Church do we find comfort in the knowledge that we are to be saved.
O LORD, call us unto your kingdom
that with your Son we might be glorified –
let us embrace the Cross as we make our way to you.
YHWH, send your Spirit to help us in our weakness; hear us as we cry out to you. In our lives let your will be accomplished, that with your Son we might be glorified. You lead us forth in your goodness – may we be obedient to the promptings of our heart.
Within us you place your Spirit, LORD; to our ears come the teachings of your Son. Through the narrow door let us pass, by the groanings you inspire in us. What can we do but call upon your NAME? Let us not cry out in vain.
Our enemies surround us, LORD, and seek our downfall. How they wish to see us sleep in death. They would bar the door to your House that we might not enter – in your loving kindness defeat their plans. Let us be made in the image of your Son that on the last day we might join your saints in the kingdom.