21st August 2022. Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C.
LORD, WHO WILL BE SAVED FROM HELL?
In the Gospel today (Luke 13:22-30), Jesus was asked if many souls will be saved from going
to Hell? This place is a real state, where poor souls suffer eternally from being separated from
God. They’re weeping and grinding their teeth, in pain. On the Day of Judgement, they were
left in no doubt, that Jesus, Our Judge and Saviour, existed. His desire was to benefit our
souls on earth, for the soul purpose of preparing us for entry into Heaven someday. Sadly,
some people chose not to listen to Jesus and because they reject His Teachings, He now
rejects them, at the Door leading to Eternal Peace. Even though they attended Mass and ate
and drank at the Altar table of Holy Communion with Him, but they never believed. They
selfishly never bothered entering into a Covenant (Relationship) with Him while on earth.
They refused to repent and change their lives, after eating and drinking the Eucharist of Love
and Mercy. They lived by their own commandments, which impacts the destiny of their souls
THESE SOULS ARE NOT OF GOD, and that is why Jesus says to them at the Door of
Heaven, I do not know where you come from. Away from Me, all you wicked men! These are
the souls who rejected the Cross in their lifetime. The Cross of Jesus Christ has become the
Tree of Life for us today. We are called to endure and offer our Sufferings in this life, as a
sacrifice willingly given to God (Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13). Our Sacrifices will bring
conversion to ourselves and mankind. Jesus tells us that, Suffering is part of your training,
because it is a divine currency that will purchase our entry fee into Heaven. Jesus brought
redemption (rescued from eternal death/damnation), to the world, by His suffering, in the
guise of the Suffering Servant. In order to be saved, we must follow His example. People
make the devilish mistake, thinking that they are entitled to get into Heaven, regardless of
how sinful their lifestyle was on earth. Jesus sends nobody to hell, because it is we, by our
own life-choices, who send ourselves to that life of eternal suffering. If we separate ourselves
from Jesus on earth, then, it only stands to reason, that we will be separated from Him in
eternity. The Good News is, that it is never too late to change our ways, because Jesus is
waiting to receive us now and to forgive us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).
JESUS IS THE NARROW DOOR, and was first opened to us here on earth, when the
soldier pierced open the Loving and Merciful Heart of Jesus on the Cross. Christ is the
Church with open arms, inviting every sinner from every nation (Is 66:18-21), to become
lowly and humble in order to truly enter into a holy communion with Him now, before it is
too late. Mary stands at the foot of the Cross, directing us to step into her Son’s humble and
meek Heart, using the Sacraments of the Church. For us to enter, we have to tailor-make our
attitudes, in conformity with the way, Jesus measured life, as witnessed in the Gospel. We are
to cut away our pride, anger, unmerciful and unloving nature, in order to fit into the image of
Jesus. Let us not get fat on sin, which will prevent us fitting through the narrow door into
Heaven. The Door to Hell is pride and wide. In the last moments of his life, the Good Thief
on the Cross, truly repented with a contrite and sorrowful heart, for his sinful life, and was
given direct access to Heaven. The Last will be First, if we, reject the sacred opportunities
given to us now. We must begin the process of approaching the Narrow Door now, before it
is too late. God bless, Fr. Brendan.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
Sunday, 21 August 2022
In the passage from the Gospel of Luke for this Sunday’s liturgy, someone asks Jesus, “will
those who are saved be few?” And the Lord responds: “Strive to enter through the narrow
door” (Lk 13:24). The narrow door…this is an image that could scare us, as if salvation is
destined for only a few elect, or perfect people. But this contradicts what Jesus taught us on
many other occasions. And, as a matter of fact, a little further ahead, he confirms, “People
will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom
of God” (v. 29). Therefore, this door is narrow, but is open to everyone! Do not forget this.
The door is open to everyone!
But to better understand, what this narrow door is, we need to ask what it is. Jesus was using
an image from contemporary life, most likely referring to the fact that, when evening would
fall, the doors of the city would be closed and only one, the smallest and the narrowest, would
remain open. To return home, someone could get through only there.
Now let’s think about when Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be
saved” (Jn 10:9). He wants to tell us that to enter into God’s life, into salvation, we need to
pass through him, not through another one, through him; to welcome him and his Word. Just
as to enter into the city, someone had to “measure” the same as the only remaining open
narrow door, so too the Christian door is a life whose “measure is Christ”, founded and
modelled on him. This means that the rule of measure is Jesus and his Gospel – not what we
think, but what he says to us. So, we are talking about a narrow door not because only a few
are destined to go through it, no, but because to belong to Christ means to follow him, to live
one’s life in love, in service, and in giving oneself as he did, who passed through the narrow
door of the cross.
Entering into the project God proposes for our life requires that we restrict the space of
egoism, reduce the presumption of self-sufficiency, lower the heights of pride and arrogance,
and that we overcome laziness, in order to traverse the risk of love, even when it involves the
Let’s think, in concrete terms, about those daily acts of love that we struggle to carry on with:
let’s think of the parents who dedicate themselves to their children, making sacrifices and
renouncing time for themselves; of those who concern themselves about others and not only
about their own interests (how many people are good like this); let’s think of those who spend
themselves in service to the elderly, to the poorest and most vulnerable; let’s think of those
who keep on working committedly, putting up with discomfort and, perhaps, with
misunderstanding; let’s think of those who suffer because of their faith, but who continue to
pray and love; let’s think of those who, rather than following their own instincts, respond to
evil with good, finding the strength to forgive and the courage to begin again.
These are just a few examples of people who do not choose the wide door of their own
convenience, but the narrow door of Jesus, of a life spent in loving. The Lord says today that
the Father will recognise them much more than those who believe they are already saved but
who are actually “workers of evil” (Lk 13:27) in life.
Brothers and sisters, which side do we want to be on? Do we prefer the easy way of thinking
only about ourselves, or do we choose the narrow door of the Gospel that puts our selfishness
into crisis, but which makes us able to welcome the true life that comes from God and makes
us happy? Which side are we on? May Our Lady, who followed Jesus all the way to the
Cross, help us to measure our life with him so as to enter into the fullness of eternal life.
If you wish you can download the previous ‘Gospels Explained’ by selecting from the following links