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Theology for the common man

21th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The question about the choice of those who have to be saved and Jesus' response are the structure of today’s readings. Already the Old Testament, which fragment is read today, in the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, speaks about “fugitives” from Israel who will proclaim the glory of God among the nations. From them God will start to choose a new nation because He knows “their works and their thoughts.” We have to be aware that the Old Testament still speaks in the earthly category of being "chosen" to be a renewed nation of Israel. However, it is an announcement of a new choice of a spiritual nation saved (redeemed) by Jesus. The choice of Jesus is conditioned by an entrance through the narrow gate. The relation to this narrow gate reminds us of the entrance to the Kingdom of God, which Jesus speaks about in his parable about the Kingdom of God. It is a very distinctive mark of Jesus' teaching, that to attain the Kingdom of God, one need to live in a way not large or easy but rather we need to take our burdens and prove with our dignified and good life that we are worthy to reach it. And it is good to use every minute we have at our hand till our life endures, because thereafter there are no more chances. This is exactly the meaning of the teaching from Jesus' parable about the master of the house who is God; “After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying. ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.” No excuses and explanations will help you because God, according to the truth will answer that He doesn’t know us telling: “depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom God and you yourselves cast out.” The Mercy of God will not exist where there is no conversion and good life.