"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and not be able." (Luke 13:22-30)
My Dear Family in Christ,
Our Lord gives us yet another difficult Gospel this Sunday, and once again we are forced to confront some of the assumptions we may have made about God, Heaven, and Hell:
Doesn't everyone go to Heaven? How could a good, merciful God possibly allow His beloved sons and daughters to go to Hell? Do my free choices, words, thoughts and actions, and the person who I become actually make a difference in my eternal destiny?
I'll be the last one to sugar-coat the answers: they are hard. But, the fact that the answers to our questions aren't easy, does not mean we should avoid them, look for other ones, or avoid asking the questions altogether; instead, we owe it to ourselves (and those we love) to take our Lord's words seriously, to allow Him to challenge us, to change us, and ultimately to transform us into the Saints He has created us to be.
So as summer winds down (sorry to bring that up...), and as we prepare ourselves for the merciful return of discipline, routine, and schedules, bear in mind that God our Father also intends to teach us discipline. In the words of this Sunday's second reading, "... the Lord disciplines the one whom He loves and chastises every son whom He accepts. Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not discipline?" (Hebrews 12: 6-7)
So here we go- into the fray, the struggle, the journey, and the adventure of a life with God, from sinners to saints, from this life to Heaven. We only get there by cooperating with God's grace, enduring the trials of life, and leaning on/helping one another. It may be Ordinary Time, but it is time to get down to the extraordinary business of Heaven.
With love from the Lion's Den,