"Strive to enter through the narrow gate"

Last Sunday, our Lord left us with the challenge to be decisive for the Kingdom and to stand for him. Continuing the Gospel of Luke (Luke 13:22-30) on Sunday, he makes clear what decisiveness and standing for him means: “Enter into the narrow door.”
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 25, 2013 (21C)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: Lukewarm Catholic or on-fire Protestant? What's better?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Book of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 66, Verses 18-21

1. The Israelites were the chosen people. They remain so. But God extended the same “chosenness” to others. How has this worked out through the ages? Have Christians always honored their ancestors, the Jewish people?

2. It was God’s plan to save all humankind from the beginning. What can you do to make others welcome? What encourages exclusivity? Can you think of anything your parish or the Church in general could do to be more inclusive?

Responsorial Psalms

Psalm 117: 1, 2

1. Our Psalmist is inspired by the power of God's love toward us. Speak of how God's love and mercy have done a work in your life.

2. The Psalm prompts us to witness to those who may be distant from us spiritually. Give an example of how you proclaim the Good News to those who may not know God.

Second Reading
Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verses 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 work out? Can you become spiritually “flabby?” Do you ever “exercise” spiritually on your own? How? What good does St. Paul say will come from such “discipline?”

2. From what you know of the lives of the saints, did/does God handle the saints with “kid gloves”? Does God handle you with kid gloves? Would you like that? What is the relationship between God’s love and hardships along the spiritual path?

According to Luke, Chapter 13, Verses 22-30

1. “We ate and drank in your company.” Is a membership in a particular church an automatic “opening” of the narrow gate? What opens the narrow gate for you?

2. Can people of all religions receive grace? Is the narrow gate open to all of humankind? Discuss.

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the above Sunday Readings with other ParishWorld readers. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

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