Year C – Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 25, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117:1, 2 (R/. Mark 15:15); Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13; John 14:6; Luke 13:22-30

Today’s readings remind us of God’s master plan:  that all nations hear of and see God’s glory and that all people come to “recline at table in the kingdom of God.”  Our God is a God for all.  That is the good news.  But this demands effort on our part; it calls for the discipline of a fitness program.

While the image of God as a father who disciplines his child, who “scourges every son he acknowledges,” is repugnant in out day, the author is quick to link such “scourging” with trials life brings us, emphasizing that such discipline may later bring “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” to those who learn from it.  The goal is to be strong enough to run the race and win the crown of eternal life, to “strengthen our drooping hands and weak knees.”

In the gospel, Jesus urges us to strive to enter through the narrow gate.  Again, the notion of being disciplined so that we will not be among those who “will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”

How have you experienced God’s “discipline” through a trial that has strengthened you?

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