The feast of the Assumption interrupted the regular sequence of the Sundays of Ordinary Time.
This coming Sunday is the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, and in the Gospel we enter that part of Luke’s Gospel which leads to Jerusalem and the Passion and Resurrection.
Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’
Jesus preaches salvation, but not ‘cheap grace’.
That phrase, ‘cheap grace’, comes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran Pastor who was executed in consequence of his active opposition to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.
In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote:
Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
- How do you cooperate with the grace of God so freely given?
- How might you help others to do the same?
Memorial to prisoners of the Gestapo. Cracow. (c) 2013, Allen Morris