Encountering God and World in Scriptures

Light of truth

Lectio Divina – 7

Fr Martin Kallungal

“Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. ‘Once the master of the house has raised up and locked the door, you may find yourself standing outside knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will start saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets,” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from; away from me, all evil doers!” ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrown out. And people from east and west, from north and south, will come and sit down at the feast in the kingdom of God (Lk. 13:23-29).

This passage is about the inclusion and exclusion in the Kingdom of God. It gives a prophetic warning to everyone to repent. Jews believed that they would be the rightful heirs of the Kingdom. But, Jesus made a startling revelation: those who expect to be in the Kingdom will not be there and those who are not expected to be there will be there. So, each one must ask, “will I be there in the Kingdom?” This passage reminds us of the foolish virgins in Mt 25:10-12 who expected to enter in but finally failed although they had prepared themselves to a very great extent. They lost between the cup and the lip! Desiring heaven is a good thing and familiarity with Jesus’s teaching is still better; but, more than these is needed for entering the Kingdom. Similarly, shared activities like meals, missionary journey, etc also do not measure up. Knowing Jesus personally and following Him faithfully is the necessary and sufficient condition for salvation. Alluding to His resurrection, Jesus says, “once the master of the house has raised up and locked the door you may find yourself standing outside.” With Jesus’ death the doors of heaven were opened. Therefore, those who are not willing to pass through the path of thePassion of Christ in their personal life will have to wait in vain before a closed door.

O’ Jesus, my Lord, you have come to gather the scattered and the lost ones. Many a time I have made attempts to reach you, but through the broadways of routine spiritual exercises. Teach me to walk along the path opened by your life; for that is where unending joy is found. Give me the courage and promptness to choose the narrow way of the cross. Help me to make every effort to follow you closely and avoid evil which may happen on my way.

Contemplate a scene of a banquet in which all kinds of people participate but from which some of them are rejected. Recalling your sins feel the pain of rejection. Know that those who think they are holy are not, in fact, holy. What counts is not my knowledge about God; whether God recognizes me as His own is what finally matters.

Dare to be alone if all around is cowardice and submission. Assess the quality of your Christian life using the standards set by the Jesus in the Gospels.

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