“For I know what my plans for you are, plans to save you and not to harm you., plans to give you a future and to give you hope.” (Jer 29:11)
God’s plan for us is salvation and salvation begins when we begin to ‘know’ Jesus Christ. Simply claiming to be a good Catholic and to have spent time with Him does not count. It is about having a relationship with Him – to listen to Him, to obey, and to live His Word. He wants us to love just as He loved, to be able to see Him in those around us.
Today’s Gospel makes it clear that our destiny depends on the outcome of our decision to follow Jesus Christ. “There are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.” We will be surprised by those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven and those who do not. Don’t be fooled by the false sense of entitlement and feel too comfortable in the belief that the Lord is somehow obliged to save us. Many will be saved, but many who thought they would be saved, will not be saved.
God does not require successes in life but our humility. Repentance is key to enter the kingdom of God. He is with us at all times – good, bad, beautiful and ugly.
In this world, struggles and temptations of various sorts abound. How can we strive to “enter the narrow door”? Only by the grace of God. “It is I who command you; be strong, then, and be valiant. Do not tremble or be afraid, because your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). We are further reminded in 1 Cor 10: 13 that our God is faithful. No trial greater than human endurance shall overcome us. He will not let us be tempted beyond what our strength. When we are tempted, He will provide a way for us to pass through it.
Just like a tree, in order for it to grow well and eventually provide habitat to the animals, food for the biodiversity and shade to human, the gardener allows it to weather the heat, the cold and even the storm. He further trains it to grow in desired forms, prunes away the overgrown or unhealthy parts and nourishes it. This is what our Father does with us too. He is there when we weather the storms and He disciplines us with the consequences of our wrong doings.
In the time remaining, focus your heart on what you want to do with your life. Walk on with Jesus and seek only the heavenly banquet with our Lord!
By Angelina Choo
Ministry of Lectors