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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Disciplined to be Worthy


Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
25 August 2019

First reading Isaiah 66:18-21

The officials said to the king, “This man [Jeremiah] should be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. He is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.” King Zedekiah said, “Here he is; he is in your hands; for the king is powerless against you.” So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.

Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate, So Ebed-melech left the king’s house and spoke to the king, “My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.” Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.”

Second reading                                                          Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children: “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Gospel                                                                         Luke 13:22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.

When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Reflection
By Jessa Janelle Padilla



When I was a child, my parents scold and discipline me every time I committed mistakes. After being scolded, I make ‘dabog’ (stomp their feet and mutter) and get angry with them since I don’t understand the reason why. As I grew old, I understand that they just did it to discipline me so that I would grow old as a responsible and well-behaved person. 

A parent who really loves and cares for his child will always get angry when the child did wrong and will never tolerate his wrongdoings. A parent will always lead his child to the right path by disciplining them. So children, don’t get angry and upset when your parents scold you. They are just doing this to discipline you. No parent will let his children become ‘pariwara’ (wayward).

Just like what Saint Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges." Treat your trial as a "discipline". Let us just endure them since they will bring the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 

Every challenge is not easy and it is not given to us by God if He knows that we are incapable of surpassing it. Challenges make us stronger and better. It also test our faith and how far can we endure every challengers without losing our faith and hope to God. 

In our Gospel for today, as Jesus passed through towns and villages someone asked Him "Lord, will only a few people be saved?"  and He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate”. The gate is narrow just like the hole of a needle and we should do our very best to pass through it. 

How can we pass through this narrow gate and be one of those people who can enter the kingdom of God? It is by following God’s path and living our lives according to His teachings. All of us will say it is not that easy considering the different factors of where we live in. Yet, if we really want to enter His kingdom, we must be willing to obey him even it requires us to sacrifice our comfortable lives and earthly things. We must put our trust in Him who, like our own parents, wishes only what is good for us.

Nothing is impossible for a person who perseveres to achieve his goal. May our goal in life be to enter the Kingdom of God no matter how narrow the gates are.

Prayer


Lord, may we do our best to become worthy servants of Yours to enter Your Kingdom. May we endure all the pains of every challenge and never lose our faith in You. May You provide us strength to surpass everything and live our lives according to Your teachings. Help us to remember that You are with us every step of the way. In Jesus' name. Amen.





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