Daily Readings for Mass.
(Liturgical Calendar for Ireland, 2019)

30 October. Wednesday, Week 30

1st Reading: Romans 8:26-30

All things work together for good

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Responsorial:
Psalm 12:4-6

R./: All my hope, O Lord, is in your loving kindness.

Look at me, answer me, Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes lest I fall asleep in death,
  lest my enemy say: 'I have overcome him';
 lest my foes rejoice to see my fall. (R./)

As for me, I trust in your merciful love.
Let my heart rejoice in your saving help:
Let me sing to the Lord for his goodness to me,
 singing psalms to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

Outsiders will enter God's kingdom while insiders will be excluded

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once 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 he will say, 'I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

BIBLE

Who will be saved?

When asked, "Will there be only a few saved?" Jesus doesn't directly answer the question. Instead, he uses it as homiletic opportunity. He invites all those aeround him to "Strive to enter by the narrow door." Speculating about how many will be saved is not helpful. Rather than speculate about how many will be saved, we should strive to do the will of God, which is the sure gateway to eternal life.

In this dialogue Jesus puts a high value on human effort and fidelity. It is easy to enter through an ample, wide doorway. But to get through a narrow entrance, we need to be focused and pay attention to what we are doing. By this image, he teaches that staying on the path that leads to life involves struggle and effort. There is a striving involved, even though we are supported by the grace of God and the promptings of the Spirit. It need not be an anxious striving, because the Lord wants us to succeed.

To counter-balance that image about the narrow door, we can recall many other Gospel sayings about the help God gives for our salvation. It is God's will that people from east and west, from north and south, will enter and take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Whenever Christians might be tempted to discouragement, they need to remember that "The Spirit helps us in our weakness". Paul goes on to say that those who trust in Jesus are "predestined" to be saved, and that "that all things work together for good for those who love God."


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