YEAR B: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 30TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Disappointment on the Last Day.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” *Luke 13:24*_
Have you ever been to an interview only to discover that the main person conducting the team of interviewers is someone you know right from childhood, someone who even lives right next to your house only for the person to treat you like a complete stranger? Can you imagine the rage and disappointment you will feel inside of you when you have to walk away not only empty-handed but without any iota of self-worth having been insulted by the team of interviewers?
Heaven is not difficult to attain yet there are many who will be greatly disappointed on the last day. There are many Christians who consider themselves good enough for heaven, who believe they have nothing to fear but would be shut out of heaven’s gate.
Jesus was asked if there would only be few to attain eternal life. He did not answer that question rather he tells us what we must do to achieve it. Heaven is not for a select few, it is for all those and anyone who makes effort to enter by the narrow door.
What is this narrow door? Jesus gives a clue by talking about many who were denied entrance despite having eaten and drank with the Lord (despite having partaken of Holy Communion, regular Church activities and so on).
The narrow door represents sincere and genuine worshippers of God who will never indulge in iniquity even in secret, Christians who walk the talk; Christians who know how to forgive; Christians whose lives more than their words proclaim God loudly to the world; Christians who hold on tightly to the cross and never leave the faith even in the face of difficulty.
From the way Jesus spoke, the narrow door is not restricted to Christians only. In fact, while many Christians would be denied entrance, “many will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.” Luke 13:29. Being a Christian is not a guarantee of going to heaven as such, if you must remain a Christian, strive to be a good Christian.
St. Paul speaks to children in today’s first reading emphasizing the fourth commandment as the only one with a promise attached: “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:3. St. Paul also speaks to slaves encouraging them to be obedient to their masters “not in the way of eye- service, as men-pleasers but as servants of Christ.” Ephesians 6:6.
It is not easy to be the one taking instructions or answering “yes sir” or “yes madam.” It can be tough when asked to do things you just don’t like. As humans, we all have our natural pride (self-worth). Nevertheless, the key to being an obedient child, assistant, servant, employee etc. is to realize that it is God you serve, not human beings. Obey the instruction of your elders, even if it makes no sense at the moment. Perhaps at a later age, you will be thankful you did. Obedience to elders is part of what it takes to follow the narrow door which Jesus talks about. It is always painful but rewarding in the end.
It is not easy to be obedient especially to a parent, an elder, a boss or a master who is difficult, proud, stingy or heartless. No wonder St. Paul was quick to add: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger… masters, act with forbearance, show no partiality.” The simple truth is that respect begets respect. It is better for your children, your servants or those under you to love you than to fear you. If they love you, they wouldn’t mind dying for you but if they only fear you, they would pray for your death.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, we commit our marriages and families to you. Help us be good children and good parents. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ephesians 6:1-9, Psalm 145:10-14 and Luke 13:22-30).