Is 66:18-21 Heb 12:5-7, 11-13 Lk 13:22-30
Because of the Mission Appeal I am making today for the Diocese of Lodwar, Kenya, my message is short. Please watch this video: http://youtu.be/zGIZ7UOXHDk
Jesus is going through the towns and villages teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone interrupts him and asks, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”(Luke 13:33). What does Jesus answer? “My friend, strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able” (verse 24). We see that Jesus is not really answering the man’s question: “Will only a few be saved?” In fact he is answering a more important question, “How can he be saved?”
God wants everyone to be saved, to happy with him forever: “I come to gather the nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory.” We heard it in the first reading today. Jesus came to open the gates of heaven. But whether we want to enter that depends on us. He gives us the freedom to accept or reject salvation. So our salvation is not only God’s work but also our work. And we have to hasten to do our work while there is time. If we are faithful to our duties God has given, the joy of heaven will be ours.
Once to trick a wise man, a boy held in his palms a tinny bird and asked him, “Tell me sir, if the bird in my hand is alive or dead”. The wise man thought for a while; if I say the bird is dead, the boy will let the bird fly, and if I say the bird is alive, he will crush the bird and show that the bird is dead. Therefore the wise man said, ‘for the bird to be alive or dead it is within your hands’. In the same way dear friends for us to be saved or not to be saved is within our hands. “God who created us without us cannot save us without us” says St. Augustine.
Instead of trying to find answers to the questions of curiosity, let us ask more important questions about our salvation: “What do I need to do to be saved? How can I serve God better in my present situation in life? How can I make use of the opportunities God gives me here and now for my eternal salvation?” Let us take a moment and ask ourselves some of these relevant questions today.
Jesus describes the condition for entering the kingdom when he says: My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk 8:21). Fellowship in the kingdom is open to all peoples who hear the word of God and keep it. The door policy is determined by fidelity to the word of God.
I will be visiting this diocese of Lodwar in Kenya together with Bishop Paul Bradley (Bishop of Kalamazoo) and Msgr. Mike Hazard from Oct 15 -30th 2013. If some one is interested in helping for our mission trip, please contact me or send your contribution to my parish, check payable to St. Joseph Church, memo Kenya mission: Address: 157 Lucinda Lane, Watervliet, MI 49098
Watch following youtube videos