Reflection Sunday 21 August

Readings: Heb 12:5-13; Luke 13:22-30

Today’s readings remind us that being a disciple of Jesus has its challenges. Faith may not come easily at times and like in the second reading we can feel like we are being ‘disciplined’. The reality is that we each have selfish urges that need to be kept in check e.g. ‘Look at me doing the right thing. Aren’t I good?’ Other parts of our behaviour can be thought of as useless appendages that need to drop off. One way of thinking of salvation is being saved from ourselves – saved from our shortcomings that hinder our relationships and hold us back from being the best version of ourselves.

We know that this path is not an easy one – as the readings attest. Within the Gospel is the theme of the great overturning: ‘some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last’. As humans we think we know what is going on, when in reality, life can be filled with myriad games of status. In that way the person who is focused on doing what is right, being in right relationship with others, they are closer to God’s reign than someone who is ‘climbing the greasy pole’. Therein lies part of the wisdom contained in the Gospel: ‘some are last who will be first’.

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