Father Brian Konopa’s Homily 2019-08-24 the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

By | August 30, 2019

– Strive to enter
through the narrow gate. For many I tell you,
will attempt to enter, but will not be strong enough. One of the most foolish
assumptions made about God and His unconditional love
is that God is so sweet, so kind, so good that the
last thing He would do would be to punish
any of His children and perish the thought
that anyone goes to hell, despite the many references
that Jesus Himself makes to it. This foolish assumption does
away with any struggles, hurdles, crosses or difficulties to enter the kingdom of God. It lets us grow soft in many
areas of Christian life. Keeping holy, the Lord’s day,
works with or without mass. God’s forgiveness is
guaranteed with or without an examination of conscience. To say nothing of the
sacrament of reconciliation. The only sin to really work
about are the mortal ones and they’re so few
that it’s not likely anyone really commits them. Standards of right
and wrong are shaped by TV, podcasts and
news personalities, as well as laws and politicians, more than what is
recorded in Scripture. Today Jesus tells us, “Don’t
believe that the kingdom of God “is so easy to enter. “Strive to enter
through the narrow gate, “for many I tell you
will attempt to enter, “but will not be strong enough.” You see, the kingdom of God
is like that precious pearl that we must be willing
to sell all that we have to take possession of it. There needs to be a balance
between the mercy of God and God’s justice. God loves us unconditionally. What does that mean? God loves us just
the way we are. But He loves us too much
to let us remain this way. And we have to
take responsibility
for our own souls. Strive to enter
through the narrow gate for many I tell you
will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. It’s interesting in the gospel
of John that Jesus says, “I am the gate. “If anyone enters through
me, he will be saved “and will go in and
out and find pasture.” But we must give
ourselves to Jesus Christ, who has already given
Himself completely to us. Beware of the people who
make so little of sacraments. Beware of the people who tell us to make peace with this world and enjoy the good things of
the world as much as we can. Beware of those people
who say that faith is a private thing and we
should keep it to ourselves and out of the public square. The gate is not narrow because God the Father made it that way. Jesus Christ is not narrow
minded or narrow hearted. Jesus Christ laid down
His life out of love for each one of us
after He said this. He didn’t die on the cross
and say, “Well that was tough, “now I’m expecting you
guys to kinda do the same.” Jesus wants a
personal commitment and a personal relationship. And He is strong
enough to get us in. Listen carefully to
this one last time. Strive to enter through
the narrow gate, for many I fell you
will attempt to enter, but will not be strong enough. I think this tells
us two things. Number one, we have a
great chance to be saved if we ask the Lord
to be our strength. And number two, we
must do our part. We must strive to live the faith that is nourished here and
place it into every facet, every relationship of our lives. Salvation depends
on Jesus and us.

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