21st Sunday Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: August 21, 2022
Do not take God for granted. Do not take your salvation for granted.
The disciples ask Jesus, “Will only a few be saved?” He tells them, or perhaps warns them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door.”
The Prophet Isaiah presents a vision of the God who gathers all nations. God wills all to be saved, all to be gathered together. But, Jesus calls us to enter by the narrow door and tells a parable of the owner of the house who has shut the door and you are outside knocking at the door wanting to be let in. The owner replies, “I do not know where you come from.” They say that they ate and drank with him, but the owner again replies, “I do not know where you come from.”
Do not take for granted your salvation, do not take your relationship with God for granted.
You are not saved by being in the right nation, or the right religion, or the right church, or being in the right group or right family. Often in our world being in the right family, or right nation, or right group, gives you an advantage. But, in the eyes of God, none of that matters.
Enter by the narrow gate, do not take for granted your relationship with God, do not take for granted your friendship with Jesus. Do not think that because you are a Christian, because you are a practicing Catholic, that the owner will know you and let you in.
God’s will is our salvation. It is not that God does not want us to be saved. In Jesus, God has revealed the desire to be an intimate friend with all of us. But, not based on piety or purity or externals. Are we open to being a friend with God, even when it challenges me, when it calls me to change?
Last week I read about someone interviewing a theologian for a book. He asked him, “If someone asked you how to go about finding God, what would you say?” This was his answer. He referred to the words that C.G. Jung had chiseled on his stone lintel in Switzerland that basically said, “You will eventually find God whether you want to or not.” Then he said, “If you want to (even if you don’t happen to believe God exists) all you have to do is find some quiet place, be quiet inside yourself, and ask God to let you find God (or God you).” Then he said that as far as he knew it was a prayer that is always answered.
Let God find you, open your heart to allow God to enter.
God wants to find you, wants to spend time with you, wants a friendship with you. Often we do not want that narrow gate that requires me to be silent, requires me to change, requires me to have new priorities, requires me to be humble.
It is not enough to know about God, to know about the Faith. We need to embrace God, work to be one with God, find God or be found by God in our life.
Everyone close your eyes. Be quiet inside yourself for a moment. Then silently say this prayer, “God, let me find you or you find me.”
Do not take God for granted, we do not want to be like those standing on the outside knocking on the door. Enter by the narrow door, be found by God so that God knows you and lets you in.