Scripture: Lectionary 481. Oct.30. Romans 8:26-30. Psalm 13:4-5. 6. Luke 13:22-30.
Straight and narrow is the way leading to the kingdom of God. One good thing about this, is that no matter how often we veer from the path, Jesus beckons us to return. We make many such reversals back to the path that leads to the kingdom during our life. Some are moral conversions; others are just natural life reversals where we learn how to “fall upwards.”
It is the Evangelist Luke whom we celebrate in this month of October who opens the doors to all of us who are on the journey with God and Jesus. No one is excluded from the path that leads to the kingdom and to God. Luke slants his narrative about Jesus in such a way that its universalism turns up at every corner of his writing. His theological point of view is a universal call to all to follow in the footsteps of Jesus on the path to eternal life. The only harsh thing he says about those who do not refers only to the apostates who have deliberately left the road and refuse to come back to the path that is narrow and straight.
All are welcome, both Gentile and Israelite, man and woman, disciple and leader. Luke tells us that the prophets are already with God and enjoy the kingdom with Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. Whether we come from the north, the south, the west, or the east, Luke leads us onto the path that leads to the kingdom. Surely, we all experience some natural reversals as they struggle to keep on the path or come back to it again and again. We just are summoned not to give up, but to keep on walking on the path even though it seems narrow and tough.
Luke tells us about the reversals in this way: “the last shall be first, the mighty shall fall from their thrones, the humble shall be exalted (Luke 1:46-56). The entire social order is being reversed to take on the point of view of Luke and to see the bigger picture which contains the narrow path that leads us onto to the light of the kingdom of God.
What about the ones who are sinners and are tax collectors? They, too, are invited often and come to the table to share with Jesus not only the bread of Israel but also the nourishment that comes from the mouth of Jesus in his attractive stories called parables. Luke likes dialogue at table; so, too, does Jesus who goes to so many meals in this Gospel.
We are told that Luke is a companion and fellow traveler with Paul in our traditional knowledge about the two of them. Both are on the path to eternal life. Both share the same themes in their writings and letters which are maps on how to get back to the path. The following are sure signs we are on the right path in both Paul and Luke: Prayer, the Spirit, joy, the call to holiness, and compassion. Paul tells us, “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who have been called according to his decree.” (Romans 8: 28).We are led to pray and sing the Psalm with these words, “Let my heart rejoice in your salvation. Let me sing to the Lord who has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:6).
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.