Reflections from the August 21 Gospel
“Behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” For Jesus’ original audience, this reference was meant for those Jews who presumed their salvation while judging others as being unworthy of entering the kingdom of God. But we should not assume that this Gospel was only for those people in that time and place. Today, there is perhaps a different stratum of first and last. In our Christian era, we can be tempted to have the same presumptuous attitude that afflicted too many of the Jewish contemporaries of Christ. We can think that our salvation is assured just because we bear the title Christian. This simply isn’t true. God’s mercy is available to everyone who humbly recognizes one’s need for it. The minute we become complacent or overconfident, we close ourselves off to the gift of mercy God offers to the repentant sinner. Jesus tells us today that we must “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” This means that we must not take the easy road of presumption, assuming that we are in good shape because we look like most of the people around us.
Questions of the Week
Why do you think Jesus so often
spoke of reversals in the kingdom of God?
What do you find most challenging in Isaiah’s vision of the age to come?
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13:
When do you find yourself with “weak knees” in your faith journey?