Home » Blog » 21ST SUNDAY C



21st Sunday

Suppose you hear that I died, where do you think will I go? To heaven or to hell? Or imagine that you died. Will you go to the same destination or to another?

The gospel today has a direct message for us: salvation. People were asking Jesus “will only a few be saved?” jews thought that because they were the chosen people, they were the only important people in God’s eyes. They thought that others not part of their group will all be damned.

This question is still heard today. How often to we encounter people personally or through the radio and tv who claim that only they have access to heaven because they belong to this or that group. All the others, unless they transfer to their ranks, will be bound to hell.

As catholics, how do we respond to this mentality? Our faith teaches us that the Lord has given the Catholic Church all the means to salvation, that means the complete instruments for loving and serving God in this life and in the next.

We have the Word of God, the sacraments, a tradition of prayer, exercise of charity, devotion to Mary and the saints and the guidance of our shepherds. But as catholics we also refuse to say that just because you are catholic, you are destined for heaven. And those who are not catholics will not go there at all.

If you are catholic, but you are not serious with your faith, not going to church or professing your faith; or you are unjust and dishonest to your neighbor; or you harm people by your actions, thoughts and words, then you will not reach eternal life. If you do not live according to the Spirit of Christ, even if you are the most active parishioner, you cannot get to heaven.

Jesus tells us about the narrow way to salvation. That means that following Jesus demands loving and faithfully serving him. We must be loyal to Jesus and apply his teachings to our daily lives. It is not automatic that catholics will go to heaven: only those who possess the Spirit of the Lord will have that reward.

What about people in other religions or Christian communities? We believe that God works in their communities too. They do not have the complete means, but if they are sincere, the Spirit works in them. So how do we regard them?

First, with respect. Maybe we do not share the same faith or convictions, but we are not enemies. Religions are not enemies of one another, unless you were trained by Talibans or fundamentalists. So we respect them. we don’t debate although at times, we must correct their false notions about us and confidently explain our faith.

Second, we live our faith. We show them how we follow Christ by our lives and not by words alone. Mother Teresa touched the hearts of many non-believers by her actions more than her words. It is not by force or persuasion but by living faith that we manifest what we believe. Amen.