Last Sunday, in the evening mass I asked the congregation what their favorite Scripture Passage was. I am sure you all have one or more as your favorite passage. If you never had one in the past, I strongly encourage you to get familiarized with the Bible (Remember Pope Francis establishing the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be celebrated as Word of God Sunday). I also encourage you to write to me about your favorite Bible passage as to how it relates to your life and faith.
This Sunday the readings speak to us of God’s salvation being open to the whole world. Once I was confronted with a question by my priest-friend, “Is Gandhi in heaven or hell’? Many of the world’s believers such as Christians, Muslims, Hindus and others want a guarantee from their respective religion that their future is absolutely secure. Father Leonard Feeney was condemned by the Holy See for denying salvation to non-Christians because we have a long history and a common belief that ‘outside the Church there is no salvation.’
The Catechism describes hell as the “definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed” (CCC 1033). To actually choose heaven, our tastes and desires need to be converted and formed. The Catechism also teaches us that the Gospel is meant for every human being. “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, that is, the truth of Christ Jesus. Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (CCC 74)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ is worth a mention here. He teaches us about ‘Cheap Grace’ and ‘Costly Grace.’ He said, “‘Cheap grace’ seeks all the consolation of the faith without commitment or conversion.’” And “‘Costly Grace’ confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus.’”
Entering through the Narrow Door could be interpreted as a spiritual journey walked with love and love alone. This is a mark of a Christian - to love God and neighbor. Broader way or door could be the choice of many as it leads people to hatred, resentment, jealousy, revenge and other vices. So, the primary role of a community has never been saving souls but to proclaim the Good News of love, ‘use words if absolutely necessary’.
This primary role is the foundation for all ministries in our church. I thank all the volunteers who are involved in the ministries of our parish. I have been meeting the leaders of all these ministries. I request all the leaders to come and share your areas of ministry to our people. You have my full support and blessings.
Thank you for all that you are and do for our people.
Fr. AntonyBACK TO LIST