Reflections for August 25th

Gospel: (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….For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

Reflection:

Jesus’ answer to the question is couched in images: Making his way to Jerusalem—Jesus is being faithful to his own mission, by going to Jerusalem he fulfills his Father’s will even when that means he must suffer and die. Narrow gate—we might see Jesus himself as the gate, and we are saved by identifying ourselves with Jesus and this includes going to Jerusalem with him even when that means we, too, must die to ourselves. Strong enough—strength here isn’t the physical strength to push open a literal door but the spiritual strength to remain faithful to our call to discipleship and to follow Jesus to Jerusalem. Each day we must take up our cross, die to self, and live for the sake of others. This is how we enter the narrow gate and how we get to know Jesus intimately enough to receive salvation: we must live and act like Jesus. Becoming least is a metaphor for dying to self; this is what Jesus asks: that the first become last. (Living Liturgy, p.196)

 Vincentian Meditation:

“Learning to bear the beams of God’s love, as they shine through the personality of the living Christ, is the work of our lives.  His experience of suffering and dying on the Cross is there to remind us that, for one who lives in a world that is enveloped by the clouds and fog of sin, the learning process will at times be a painful one. We are called to bear the beams of God’s love in our personal lives.  The events of our lives, so inscrutable, so perplexing, so painful at times, are slowly strengthening us, if we could but see them with the eyes of faith, to look steadily one day at the open face of God, Who is a consuming fire of love. We are also called to refract the beams of God’s love for the poor.  We are called, not to stand immobile before the mystery of suffering that we find in so many poor, hungry, lonely, homeless, wandering people, but to break down for them through our service of them, the strong light of God’s love so that they, too, can learn to bear the beams of God’s love.”(McCullen, Deep Down Things,p. 368-9)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

As Vincentians, how have we been called to live and act like Jesus?                                         

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you suffered death that we might live.

-You are the savior of the world.

Your death brought life to the world,

-may we live no longer for ourselves but for you.

Your death brought life to the world,

-may we help the poor find the beams of God’s love. Amen.

 

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