TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME


   As He continues His fateful journey to Jerusalem, Jesus answers the question on how many will be saved by showing how to enter into salvation and how urgent it is to strive now, before the Master close the door. Jesus wants us to ask the question: “Are you prepared to be saved, choosing the narrow gate?” The readings tell us that salvation is universal (First Reading), but it needs total commitment from us, even to the point of accepting pain and suffering in the process (Second Reading and Gospel). 
                               
The non-Catholic doctrine on salvation: Once saved, we are always saved, in spite of our future sins, and even apostasy. We are saved by the shedding of the blood of Jesus and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. They teach that we are saved by faith alone, even if it is accompanied by inaction.


Catholic teaching: Salvation is a past, present and future event, and we may lose it or regain it many times, depending on the number of sins committed, their severity, and how we avail of the sacraments in order to regain the grace which enables us to do good works. It is a gift from the Lord and we have to fully cooperate with Him for it to be given to us. It is a process with many steps: Baptism, actual grace, faith, good works, participation in the sacraments, penance, indulgences and keeping the commandments. If lost, it is regained through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which only a Catholic priest can administer. After living a life of fidelity to God, we hope to hear the words, “Good and faithful servant, you were faithful in little things, enter into the joy of your Master.”

TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



   Our theme for this weekend is, we build God’s Kingdom when we rid ourselves of every sin and other attachments, and fix our eyes on Jesus, who is the source of truth. Receiving God’s truth carries with it a responsibility. As His followers, we are responsible to be Christ’s ambassadors in building His Kingdom on earth through our way of life and witnessing. Along the way, the devil will always tempt us with bitterness, anger, desire to hurt others and exact revenge, discouragement, and even unbelief in God, brokenness, sinfulness and dissension. If we turn away from sin, “hate” things in this world and serve God and not mammon, we demonstrate that our soul is more important than our body and our relationship with God is above all forms of human relationships.

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME




   Believing that God’s final achievement had been realized in the Savior’s Resurrection, the first Christians looked forward to His imminent return. With the passing of time, their faith had to adjust to an indefinite and uncertain time of waiting. Even today, faithful disciples will prepare for their final meeting with the Lord by giving themselves to the things of daily life. They will be judged according to their faithfulness and generosity in doing this. At the same time, however long the period of the waiting may be,  they must have an attitude of readiness and hope. When the Lord does come, the fulfillment of their hope will exceed all their expectations and imaginings: the Lord Himself ‘will put on an apron, sit them down at the table, and wait on them’ – a magnificent image, combining the eschatological banquet looked forward to by the prophets, and the ‘Servant’ theme of the late Isaiah writings with which Jesus identified – “the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mt. 20:28).