Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 123
Read the Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

Gospel Summary

At first reading, this Gospel passage is missing some of the hopeful words we read elsewhere about God’s love for us and all of creation spending eternity in the Kingdom. In this Gospel we read that the door is narrow, that not many people will get through it, and once it’s shut, there’s no opening it again. One way that scholars interpret this passage is that it was geared for the religious leaders of Jesus’ time. They were fairly confident that they were among God’s chosen people and just because of who they were, they were automatically entitled to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to be sure all people had a chance to enter the door of heaven. Many other people, according to Jesus, would enter before the arrogant leaders.

Reflection for Families

We are cautioned in this Gospel to be more than mere acquaintances with Jesus. We are challenged to have a deep and loving relationship with him. What’s the difference between the two? We are probably best at answering that question ourselves, but perhaps we attend worship services every week to fulfill an obligation. That might be acting like an acquaintance where as participating in that mass, gathering with other worshipers afterwards, or participating in scripture study, service, or enrichment offerings of the parish would definitely deepen that relationship. Our children look to us as guides for developing their own relationship with Christ. What they see us do will be significant in their own spiritual development.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

Think of the people you know (or know about) who are standing outside the doors of the Kingdom. Who are the people who are at risk of not entering? Go over your list and decide on some action you can take either individually or as a family that might help this person get through the narrow door. Is there something you can say or an action you can take to bring the person closer to Jesus? Perhaps you can serve them in some way that will help them recognize God’s love for them. In some cases we may need to stop an action such as participating in ethnic jokes. Praying is also one thing we can do if we think a person will not be open to our other efforts. Remember too that we may not know the results of our actions until we all are at the banquet!

Discussion Starters

  1. I believe that I will get through the narrow door Jesus speaks of because . . .
  2. I probably won’t be one of the first ones through the door because . . .
  3. The thing I notice about people who have a deep relationship with the Lord is . . .


Posted in: Gospel Reflections C