1. The Israelites were the chosen people. They remain so. But God extended the same “closeness” to others. How has this worked out through the ages? Have Christians honored their ancestors, the Jewish people? Do you think God would like your involvement in unity of all humankind? What can you do?
2. From the beginning it was God’s plan to save all humankind. Does God want anyone excluded? Can you think of anything that your parish or the Church as a whole could do to be more inclusive in all areas of life, not just in Church participation?
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
1. The Second Reading says that we should “strengthen our drooping hands and our weak knees.” What happens to athletes who don’t exercise? Can you become spiritually “flabby”? Do you ever “work out” spiritually on your own? How? What good does St. Paul say will come from this “discipline”?
2. From what you know of the lives of the saints, did/does God handle the saints with “kid gloves”? What about you––how does God handle you? Would you like gentler treatment? What is the relationship between God’s love and the hardships along a spiritual path?
1. “We ate and drank in your company.” Is membership in a particular way of life an automatic “opening” of the narrow gate? Is this narrow gate an entrance for all humankind? Can people of all religions receive grace? If God is always creating you, moment to moment, do you think God ever stops offering you moments of grace?
2. What does Jesus mean? Through which door should we enter? And why does Jesus speak of a narrow door?
The image of the door recurs in the Gospel on various occasions and calls to mind the door of the house, of the home, where we find safety, love and warmth. Jesus tells us that there is a door which gives us access to God’s family, to the warmth of God’s house, of communion with him. This door is Jesus himself (cf. Jn 10:9). He is the door. He is the entrance to salvation. He leads us to the Father, and the door that is Jesus is never closed. It is always open and to all, without distinction, without exclusion, without privileges. Because, you know, Jesus does not exclude anyone.
Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 25 August 2013