Rita is working on a book of daily prayers for married couples, based on the daily scripture readings. This week we would like to share with you her entry for today. I tell her that she is becoming a pretty good homilist. Let us know what you think.
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Eph 6:1-9
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14
R. (13c) The Lord is faithful in all his words.
Gospel Lk 13:22-30
Someone asked him, [Jesus]
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough. Lk 13: 23-24
This parable once again shows the master teacher that Jesus is. Those that met Jesus as he was traveling wanted to know how many people would be saved and he quickly changes the topic to what they need to do to be saved. He could have easily used this same teaching to teach about marriages. How often do you find yourselves keeping score about how much you have done while in your mind your spouse has done nothing? What Jesus is trying to get us to see today is that it is not about keeping score or what someone else has done or not done. We can invite each other and help each other but in the end the decision to live as the Kingdom requires us is not easy and yet in other ways it is quite simple. Needing to enter through the narrow door is an invitation to evaluate how you live each day as man and wife. What are all the things that you hang on to that make it difficult to live the promises you made to each other? Is it keeping score, is it being so absorbed with yourself that there is no room for anyone else, is it being so absorbed in your children that there is no room for your spouse in your daily life, do you end the day exhausted from trying to keep track of everyone else etc.? St. Paul in the first reading today says that the only way to achieve salvation is by “doing the will of God from the heart, …[and to] willingly serve the Lord. (Eph 6:6-7) All of that sounded very easy on the day we were married but as the years pass the door seems to get narrower and narrower. It does require great strength on our part. In the next line of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he tells us how to do it. He tells us to draw our strength from the Lord and his mighty power. Our challenge today and everyday is to be ready and willing to cast aside most of the ways that the internet and television programs tell us to treat each other as married persons and look inside our hearts and how willing we are to serve. Then we will be able to put aside the score cards and the win lose statistics and together prepare to enter the Kingdom.
Faithful God, you never turn away from us and yet we so often try to go it alone. Today we hope that our works have shown you our thankfulness and our faithfulness. We hope that all that we have done today has spoken to others of your power and might. Through our years of marriage, we have learned that you have been the one constant in our lives even when we didn’t always feel it because we were so absorbed in ourselves and our score keeping. As we reflect and pray today we once again know in our minds and hearts that you are faithful in your words and holy in your works. It is in knowing this that we are lifted up and have the strength to love each other and keep our focus on entering the Kingdom together. Help us to be faithful in our words and works as you are so that the door may once again be widened for us.
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