Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings

Is 66:18-21
Heb 12:5-7, 11-13
Lk 13:22-30

Reflection

Shortcuts are everywhere. From fast food places to phone apps that give us directions for the shortest route to a location, we thrive on things that cater to our busy lifestyles. Have you ever written an essay to the minimum word count or page number? Have you moved that pile of clothes and random stuff to the side so your room doesn’t look messy, but you didn’t actually clean it up? Did you attend Mass and say all the right things, but you did not really pay attention? It would be nice if all our responsibilities were easy and life went the way we wanted, but God has a different plan for us. In this Sunday’s readings, Jesus tells us that there are no shortcuts into the kingdom of God.

In the passage from Luke’s Gospel, someone following Jesus asked him about salvation: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Lk 13:23). Jesus answers him through a parable which conveys the message that many people from all over the world will enter into heaven because they served God and his people. Although some people ate and drank in his company, they did not truly believe in him and follow his teachings, so they will not enter through the narrow door (Lk 13:26). These people took shortcuts by going through the motions and not living out the Christian faith. I know I’ve fallen victim to the shortcut route. One Sunday while I was abroad this past semester, an elderly woman came up to me asking for help to walk home. I did not know the area very well, so I replied that I couldn’t. Looking back, I really wish that I did walk her home because I’d be helping someone in need, which is what God asks of us. Now, I realize how important it is to avoid focusing on the shortcuts that work best for us and rather live a Christ-like life. It will be worth it in the end to take the scenic route.

-Megan Siroky '17