CAMPUS PADRE Offers food for thought
Readings: Isaiah 66:18-21; Hebrews 12:5-7.11-13; Luke 13:22-30
Who will be saved? The message of Gospel is that there is not a single person, not a single people, nation, race, or class, which is excluded from becoming able to experience the love and liberation that God offers.
How to be ‘saved’?
The path to salvation, to abundant life… is through the “narrow gate”. We cannot enter through brute force, shear human will or government decree. The way is opened by the grace of God active within a person, who receives the gift of faith and desires to die and rise in Christ. Jesus saves.
To be “saved” means that we live and die in a close loving relationship with God and our neighbors. It is to share the vision of life that Jesus offered. It is both simple and difficult to do, but, as Jesus said “By this will all know you are my disciples that you love each other.”
Salvation, is it guaranteed? Jesus is saying is that no one, no matter who they are, has an absolute guarantee of being saved. How many of us can claim to have succeeded in walking the narrow way of unconditional and unremitting love? “As often as you failed to do it to the least of my brothers, you neglected to do it to me.”
Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. We are to proclaim to the whole world the Good News about God’s love. Everything about us is to be a proclamation to all those who hunger for a life of truth, of love, of justice, of compassion. Our hope, by God’s grace, is that those who hear the saving truth will respond as we have, by repenting, believing and being transformed.
I am a member of the Body of Christ… now what? We cannot take our friendship with Christ for granted. We have to consciously and continually strive to enter by the narrow gate.
What is the Meaning of "Strive" The Greek word translated as "strive" is "agonizomai" [agg-uh-nihd-zoh-my].
It has the connotation of a "make every effort", "try your hardest" and “supreme effort”. Our word agony comes from this Greek word, and was used to describe the contests in their Olympic games. They also used it to describe hand-to-hand combat with an enemy. We cannot strive with all our strength to follow Christ if we do not know Christ. Whatever each of us decides to do, let's make sure we decide to do something - depending not on our own strength, but on God's grace.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us exactly how we can apply this to our lives. When following Christ's path becomes uncomfortable, when his gate becomes too narrow, instead of looking around for shortcuts. "Endure your trials, as 'discipline' [allowed by God because we need them or because of our sins]... [and] make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed." God reminds us that there are no shortcuts; his will is the way the truth and the life by which we enter narrow gate, the only way to the fulfillment for which we were made.
Responsorial Psalm PS 117:1, 2 - R. (Mk 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.