21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 21/8/2022 - Gospel: Luke 13: 22-30
The Narrow Door
There are several parables about doors such as the door of the wedding hall (Mat 25,1-13), the door of the sheepfold (John 10,1-6), and the bolted door of a friend who came and asked for food late at night (Lk 11,5-13). There is one more door, the narrow door. The narrow door is not something out there, but rather the door of one's own heart. A wild, untamed heart is considered a wide open door; a well - informed heart is considered a narrow door. The narrow door leads to life and eternal life. Our modern society shows that those who chose to live a loose, unstructured lifestyle early in life could potentially be burdens for society; those who chose to discipline themselves to go through the narrow door at an early age will reap a great reward when they are in maturity. This principle is true to our spiritual journey. Those who chose to enter the narrow door in this life will have eternal life. Walking along a narrow path is a real challenge because narrow path is hard. A successful follower of Jesus is the one who will not give up halfway or surrender when facing difficulty or hardship, but continue to walk in God's way and walk with God till the end. Whatever road one takes, the narrow one or the wide open one, there will be obstacles along the way. Those who follow the narrow path know that in time of need they have extra help which comes from Jesus himself, who once calls us,

'Come to me those who are heavy burden and I will give you rest'. Mt 11,28

When we welcome Jesus into our lives, we live with him and travel with him. Every time we fall, Jesus will empower us, encourage us, to keep going. On the way to the cross, Jesus himself felt not once, but three times, and every time He fell, He rose and continued. Those who deny the help Jesus offers would struggle alone.

Refusing to follow Jesus means that a person trusts in his knowledge. Pride makes that person believe that he can take charge of his own life. God has no place in his heart. Pride blinds him to seeing Jesus who originates from the Father. He is God and the author of life. On judgement day, when the narrow door had already bolted; no one can deny the truth that Jesus comes from God. On that day it was too late for the conversion of the heart. What counts on the judgement day was not about knowing Jesus and dining with him, but what mattered most was one's love for Jesus and others. Loving Jesus with one's mind and heart is the key to the entrance of the narrow door.

In following Jesus, when we failed to love him dearly; we broke the promises we made at baptism. Jesus helps us to reconnect to Him again through the sacrament of reconciliation. Repentance makes us right with God again because God's mercy is stronger than our weakness.

Salvation is God's gift, given to those who love Jesus. People who live in the East and West entering God's kingdom implies that salvation discriminates against no one. It has no boundary. Salvation is for all, but not all to be saved because those who chose to pursue the wicked way will not accept God's gift of salvation. God respects our free choice and saves all those who would love to be saved.

God knows us by name. We are dear to him. God knows us from inside out; so the saying,

'I do not know where you come from' v.26,

mentioned twice in the reading, would not come from God himself. It came from those who rejected Jesus when He called them to follow. On the judgement day, how they had judged God turned out to be of their own judgement as well. Salvation entirely depends on how we love Jesus. Loving him by letting go of our own way to adopt his way of life, of surrendering our own will to make his will be done, and accepting that without him we are nothing.