Newsletter- 21st Week of Ordinary Time
Many people this weekend will be returning from their holidays and times away and many too will be going now for a well-deserved rest and break. Let us continue to keep all our community in our prayers at this time especially those who are travelling or taking time away. I myself enjoyed a wonderful few day’s break in Wales which did me a great deal of good. Time to relax and reflect and enjoy a little down time too!
Today’s Gospel reading is the third of three parables in chapter 13 that deal with the theme of the unexpected reversals brought by the Kingdom of God. As this parable opens, Luke reminds us that Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem. This journey, this exodus as Luke refers to it, makes up the entire middle of the Gospel. He is teaching as he goes. A question from the crowd gives Jesus the chance to make a prophetic statement. A few weeks ago, the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” led to the parable of the Good Samaritan. The question about will only a few be saved uses typical Christian language about salvation but also expresses the Jewish concern about whether everyone who calls themselves a Jew are faithful to the covenant. This was a concern of the Pharisees.
Jesus answers that they must strive in the time remaining to enter through the narrow door because many will be trying to get in but won’t be strong enough. The image of the door is replaced in the final verses of the parable with the image of the heavenly banquet. Two passages from the Book of Isaiah influence the conclusion. Isaiah 43:5-6 speaks of God bringing Israel’s descendants back from the east and from the west, the north and the south. And Isaiah 25:6 speaks of the Lord providing a feast of rich foods and choice wines for all peoples on his holy mountain. The answer to the question if only a few will be saved is of course no. In the end, many will be saved, but many who thought they would be saved will not be saved. The parable is a reminder to us of a prophetic warning to repentance in order to enter the kingdom. A reminder to be open to God and to the truth of the Gospel message of Christ.
As September approaches we shall see Little Church resuming, initially twice a month. Sessions start on Sunday 11th September,and I do encourage families with young children (up to 7 years old) to make use of this group. It will we hope be fun and informative period for those attending with a little gentle catechesis, and prayer as well. Parents are very welcome to accompany their children and there will be a corner for babies and toddlers too (one parent must accompany such young children please). Those wishing to attend Little Church should gather in church at the start of Mass with their families and they will then go out to the hall after the Opening Collect, returning intime to join family members for Holy Communion.
I hope and pray you have a good week ahead in whatever you may be doing,
With best wishes, your parish priest and friend,
2022 21st August – Newsletter – Download