HOMILY FOR 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C.
*THEME: IS SALVATION A GIFT?*
Beloved in Christ, Mother Church invites us today to reflect on salvation and how we can be saved, by reminding us that salvation is a free gift of God to us. However the fact that it is free does not make it a done deal or automatic; to be saved, we are encouraged to keep striving to be faithful to God. We are not to give up on hope but to trust in the Lord forever.
Beloved the reason for our hope is that God desires to gather people from all the nations and only those who are willing to submit to His loving care will spend eternity with Him. Thus in God, there is no favouritism. All genuine efforts will be rewarded by God.
My dear friend, the question then is not will there be only a few saved but rather what must I do to be saved? For though many are called, only the few who freely make the necessary sacrifices and choices will be saved.
We are therefore warned; for merely going to church, receiving the sacraments without producing the needed fruits will not assure our salvation. Thus, merely eating and drinking with Jesus does not guarantee our salvation if we are not producing the corresponding fruit which is evident of the new life. In effect we are not to limit our relationship with God to the Church, but this relationship should define us and what we do in the world.
Beloved in Christ, in this regard, the warning by Jesus to enter the narrow door is symbolic of the discipline and hardships we must embrace so as to be saved. Finally, my dear friends, though the offer of salvation is free, only those who receive it and confirm it by the manner of their life will spend eternity with God.