Scripture: Lectionary 481, Oct. 31, 2012. Ephesians 6:1-9. Psalm 14510-11,1:2-13,13-14. Luke 13:22-30:
Jesus continues his journey up to Jerusalem taking the road from Jericho where he has healed the blind man who follows him. He has become another follower or disciple of Jesus. His will learn more rapidly than the twelve what this means for within a week Jesus will be crucified. Jesus continues to walk, talk, and teach those who follow him what it means to be a disciple. He and the Father are at work among all for their salvation and healing. Someone asks him about the number who will be received into his kingdom. Probably, many who follow the questioner think Jesus will become their royal messiah who overcomes the oppressive rule of the Romans; others are coming to understand that Jesus is a different type of messiah—a servant leader who heals others without thinking about himself. He is for others.
Jesus answers the question in such a way that all are called to follow him. Luke also in his narrative continues this message with his universalism in the salvation of both Jew and Gentile—the way in which people were identified in the days of early Christianity. All are going to feel and experience the salvation of the Lord whether in this life or in the next. Jesus has assumed the fullness of our human nature that we may become other Christ’s and thus comprehend that there is life beyond the grave. Yet, the paradox is that few will follow the narrow path and enter through the narrow door of the kingdom of Jesus.
The last paragraph of today’s Gospel is very comforting for it brings out the paradox that though the door and pathway is narrow, nevertheless, all are able to come into the kingdom from east, west, north, and south. All means both Jesus’ people and the Gentiles (Goyiim) or the nations then known from the parts of the earth.
Another paradox that comes as a know refrain : “The last will be first, and the first last.” We keep pondering these words of Jesus and wonder where we fit in. Like Jesus’ disciples we are intent on making the journey up to Jerusalem with him in our spiritual journey. We are the ones who are called to witness to the kingdom and to Jesus’ Good News (the Gospel) and to lead others on the pathway to God. The act of pondering and considering in our hearts the words of the Lord (see Mary’s example in Luke 2:19,51) proves we are among the disciples who are to be healed and saved while working hard to bring others with us. The Kingdom of God is for all ages and we are to be its heralds. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.