Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Il-Wieħed u Għoxrin Ħadd taż-Żmien ta’ Matul is-Sena
Reading 1 ISAIAH 66:18-21
Thus says the LORD: I know their works and their thoughts, and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the LORD in clean vessels. Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.
Qari 1 mill-Ktieb tal-Profeta Iżaija 66:18-21
Dan jgħid il-Mulej: “Għad niġi niġbor il-ġnus kollha, u l-popli ta’ kull ilsien; dawn jiġu u jaraw is-sebħ tiegħi. Jiena ngħolli għalihom sinjal, u nibgħat lil xi wħud mill-fdal ta’ Iżrael għand il-ġnus, f’Tarsis, Put, Lud, u Mesek, Ros, Tubal u Ġawan, u lejn ix-xtut imbiegħda li qatt ma semgħu bija, u qatt ma raw is-sebħ tiegħi, u huma jxandru s-sebħ tiegħi qalb il-ġnus. U jġibu lil ħutkom kollha minn kull ġens, bħala offerta lill-Mulej; iġibuhom fuq żwiemel u karrijiet, fuq suġġetti u bgħula u iġmla, għal fuq il-muntanja qaddisa tiegħi, f’Ġerusalemm, jgħid il-Mulej: bħalma wlied Iżrael iġibu l-offerti tal-qmuħ tagħhom f’ġarar indaf fit-tempju tal-Mulej. U lil xi wħud minnhom neħodhom b’qassisin u leviti, jgħid il-Mulej”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Responsorial Psalm PSALM 117:1, 2
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Salm Responsorjali Salm 116(117):1,2
R/. (Mk 16:15): Morru fid-dinja kollha, xandru l-Evanġelju.
Faħħru l-Mulej, intom ġnus kollha,
sebbħuh, intom popli lkoll! R/.
Għax kbira hi t-tjieba tiegħu magħna,
il-fedeltà tal-Mulej tibqa’ għal dejjem. R/.
Reading 2 HEBREWS 12:5-7, 11-13
Brothers and sisters, You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: "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." Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
Qari 2 mill-Ittra lil-Lhud 12:5-7,11-13
Ħuti, insejtuha għalkollox il-kelma ta’ twissija li qalilkom ta’ wlied li intom: “Ibni, la twarrabx it-twiddib tal-Mulej, u la taqtax qalbek meta jċanfrek; għax il-Mulej iwiddeb lil min iħobb, jolqot lil kull min jilqa’ b’ibnu”. Hu għall-edukazzjoni tagħkom li intom qegħdin tbatu! Alla qiegħed jimxi magħkom ta’ wlied. Min hu dak l-iben li missieru ma jwiddbux? Tassew li bħalissa kull twiddiba ma tferraħniex, imma tnikkitna; iżda mbagħad, lil dawk li jkunu tħarrġu biha, hija troddilhom il-frott ta’ ħajja mimlija bis-sliem u l-ġustizzja. Mela erfgħu l-idejn merħija u l-irkupptejn mitluqa tagħkom, u aqbdu triq dritta għal riġlejkom, biex min hu zopp, ma joħroġx mit-triq, imma jerġa’ jieħu saħħtu. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Gospel LUKE 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 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. And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.' Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. 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 of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
Evanġelju Qari skont San Luqa 13:22-30
F’dak iż-żmien, huwa u sejjer lejn Ġerusalemm, Ġesù għadda jgħallem f’xi bliet u rħula. U kien hemm wieħed qallu: “Mulej, jaqaw ftit huma dawk li jsalvaw?”. U huwa weġibhom: “Tħabtu biex tidħlu mill-bieb id-dejjaq, għax kif ngħidilkom jien, ħafna għad ifittxu li jidħlu u ma jirnexxilhomx. Għax meta sid id-dar ikun qam jagħlaq il-bieb, intom tibqgħu barra, u tibdew tħabbtu l-bieb u tgħidu: ‘Mulej, iftħilna!’. Iżda hu jweġibkom u jgħid: ‘Ma nafx mnejn intom’. Imbagħad taqbdu tgħidulu: ‘Kilna u xrobna miegħek aħna, u int għallimt fil-pjazez tagħna’. Hu jwieġeb u jgħidilkom: ‘Ma nafx mnejn intom; morru minn quddiemi, intom ilkoll li tagħmlu dak li mhux sewwa!’. Hemmhekk ikun hemm il-biki u tgħażżiż tas-snien, meta taraw lil Abraham u lil Iżakk u lil Ġakobb u l-profeti kollha fis-Saltna ta’ Alla, u intom imkeċċija ’l barra. U jiġu nies mil-Lvant u mill-Punent, mit-Tramuntana u min-Nofsinhar, u joqogħdu għall-mejda fis-Saltna ta’ Alla. U araw, hawn min hu tal-aħħar u għad ikun l-ewwel, u hawn min hu tal-ewwel u għad ikun l-aħħar”. Il-Kelma tal-Mulej.
Eight-minute Gospel reflection by Fr Antony Kadavil
As He continues his final journey to Jerusalem prepared for his suffering, and death, Jesus responds to the question asking how many will be saved by answering how one is to enter into salvation and how urgent it that one strive now, before the Master closes the door. Instead of asking how many will be saved, Jesus wants us to ask ourselves, “Am I prepared to be saved, choosing the narrow gate of sacrificial agape love and so loving others as Jesus loves them”?
Scripture lessons summarized:
In the first reading, Isaiah’s prophecy speaks to the Babylonian exiles returning to Jerusalem after 47 years in captivity, the younger members with their pagan wives, telling them that salvation is not a Jewish monopoly and that is why Yahweh welcomes the pagans also into Judaism. The prophet’s great book ends as it began, with a vision of all the peoples of the world streaming toward Jerusalem, acknowledging and praising the God of Israel.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 117) refrain, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News,” reflects the mission of God’s chosen people to be instruments of salvation to the whole world. In the second reading, exploring with his readers the consequences of Christian commitment, St. Paul explains that “the narrow gate” of Jesus means our accepting pain and suffering as the loving discipline God is giving His children.
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus clearly explains that anyone who follows him through the narrow gate of sacrificial service and sharing love will be saved. Jesus also admonishes his followers to concentrate on their own salvation by self-discipline rather than to worry about the salvation of others.
The Non-Catholic doctrine on salvation was taught by Calvin and is currently broadcast by tele-evangelists as follows:
“Once saved, you are always saved,” in spite of your future sins and even apostasy. One is saved by the shed blood of Jesus when, as a young person or an adult, one accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour, confesses one’s sins and prays the “Sinner’s Prayer,” asking God’s pardon and forgiveness for one’s sins.
Catholic teaching on salvation states that:
Salvation is a past, present, and future event. We were saved from the Bondage of sin when we were baptized as children or adults. We are being saved at present, when we cooperate with God’s grace by loving others as Jesus did, by sharing our blessings with the needy, and by getting reconciled with God daily, asking His forgiveness for our sins.
We will be eternally saved when we hear the loving invitation from Jesus, the Judge, at the moment of our death and on the day of the Last Judgment, saying: “Good and faithful servant, you were faithful in little things enter into the joy of your Master.”
We need to cooperate with God’s grace daily given to us:
a) by choosing the narrow way and the narrow gate of self-control and self-disciplining of our evil tendencies, evil habits, and addictions;
b) by loving others, seeing the face of Jesus in them, and sharing our blessings with them sacrificially;
c) by obtaining the daily Divine strength to practice self-control and sharing love through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in daily prayer, in Bible reading, and in reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.