WITH ST. MARY'S
THE TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
God does not want us to have fear.
TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
God wants our prayers to be sincere and honest. He wants us to approach others with honesty and sincerity in the exact same way. It can be scary to be vulnerable, but we will lose motivation and direction if we lose sight of what exactly we are asking for. In his ministry, Christ was able to look past the challenges, questions, and timidity of those who approached him in order to address exactly what they needed. Love God and your neighbor by presenting your needs to them directly and asking for the guidance and strength that will conform your will to the Lord's.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
Because he is God Himself, Jesus had both the power of God and the will of God. His power enabled him to see through dishonesty and timidity in order to get to the real questions that people posed to him, while his will ordered him to actually extract what it was that people actually approached him for. Jesus hardly ever responded to questions exactly as they were posed to him; he was far too wise for that. Instead, he could determine exactly what it was that a person was trying to ask him, and answered that instead. It might be frustrating for the reader, but it is deeply challenging and satisfying for the person who posed the question. In today’s Gospel, someone poses a really important question to Jesus that most people in the world today would want to know the answer to: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” If Jesus answers this question directly, we risk losing our motivation. If he says that most, or even all, are saved, then the sinners will rejoice in their sin, assuming that they are not as bad as others. If he says that hardly anyone will be saved, those still on their path towards perfecting their behavior will feel inadequate and fall into despair, perhaps the most condemning sin. But the person who posed this question was not really asking Jesus how many are saved. He was asking, “am I going to be saved?” Jesus saw through the initial question, and answered the real question: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” It doesn’t sound like many people are saved with this answer, but it does directly challenge the one who poses it - try. God wants you there, and you want to be there. Don’t worry about the numbers or those who behave like you. Focus on your own salvation, and do not disguise your true curiosity out of fear or timidity.
Family activity to do at home: Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is how we come to know sincere fulfillment and eternal life, but we can only get there through truth. Truth is scary because it is not comfortable. It is challenging, it is humbling, and it is something that even children will naturally avoid if it brings the slightest level of discomfort. Truth is a virtue that needs to be fostered. We must share the truth about the world to our children: the truth about God, the truth about Creation, the truth about culture, etc. If you want your children to remain truthful to you, you must encourage truth as an ultimate good that is to be desired and shared. The activity below shares with parents how to teach Truth to their children, with the hope that children will no longer be afraid of the vulnerability that truth in their own life may bring out.