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“Salvation is offered to all, but nothing is possible without our welcome. Love is true or it is not.”
Readings: Twenty-first Sunday of ordinary time.
The biblical texts of this Sunday invite us to “a great gathering of love” and to take one more step on the path of faith. The true God is not the God of a few, nor of a people, but he is the one who wants to gather all men together. This is the good news that we find in the first reading: “I come to gather all nations, of every language. They will come and see my glory...” These words of comfort are addressed to believers who have just lived a long period of exile; they have lived for 50 years in foreign land among the Gentiles. They gradually discover that God wants to gather all nations together. God therefore wants to be universal. His love is offered to all without distinction.
It is this good news that must be announced to all peoples. For this mission, God calls upon messengers (formerly judges, prophets... and today Bishops, priests, deacons). They are sent to proclaim the glory of God among all nations. These messengers were the little remnant of Israel. But today it is us who are baptized, so we must assert our title of prophet (to proclaim), priest (to administer) and king (to rule). We are all sent into the world to witness the love that is in God. But let us not forget: it is he who acts in the hearts of those whom he puts on our way and to whom we are sent.
For the author of the second reading, what is first is precisely this Love of God. We must not doubt, even in trials, God is with us. God behaves with us like a father towards His children: He does not hesitate to advise us, encourage us, and take us back when we need it. When you love, you sometimes get angry. It is not until much later that children understand the beneficial effects of this anger. The important thing is to never lose sight of God as Love. He loves us infinitely, as we are. He's always at our side to get up when we fall. His great plan is to gather all of us in his Kingdom.
The Gospel shows us the conditions that will allow us to enter this great gathering of love. Therefore, Jesus tells us: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” In fact, it is not enough to do some religious gestures. What the Lord expects of us is a true conversion of the heart. In order to be able to enter, we must free ourselves from the privileges, honours, and the proud pretensions that clutter our lives. All the wealth we have accumulated, we will have to leave it behind. To go to Jesus, you have to be small; you do not have to be imbued with our pride and our certainties. In the end, this narrow door is the door of mercy. One does not enter without having prepared, without having approached God through justice and sharing, faithfulness and commitment, love and forgiveness...
Again, the true God is a “God for all”. His face has nothing to do with the one offered by all fanaticism, nor the one of the amulets. Even if the words of Christ seem disturbing to us, we must understand that they are the words of Love. For Christ's whole act is nothing but love gestures. That is why we also have to ask ourselves this question: “Will there be only few people to be saved? It's normal to worry about it. But if we think carefully, we understand that what is narrow is not the door, it is our heart. But the call of the Lord is always present in the mind: “Convert and believe in the good news.” Looking very closely, this narrow door is the one that Christ crossed. By dying on a cross and resurrecting, he opened a passage for us to Eternal Life. This is why he says: “I am the gate of the sheep. He who enters through me will be saved.” Our entry into the Kingdom therefore depends on the place we give Christ in our lives. Salvation is offered to all, but nothing is possible without our welcome. Love is true or it is not.
On this Sunday, we turn to the Lord. Let him help us through this narrow door by converting our hearts.
Saturday: Gospel, Homily (Peter Dibi)
Orgue:At the Great Organ, Guy Didier
- Entry: 1st movement of the 3rd Sonata (A. Guilmant)
- Offertory: Lamento (A. Guilmant)
- Communion: “Adagio” (Albinoni)
- Output: Evocation of the Sistine Chapel - excerpt (F. LiszT)
The other homilies of Father Pierre Dibi
Read also: THE FIP of the week
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