Homily by Fr. Paul Plante
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 26, 2007
Scriptural Reference: Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117:1-2; Luke 13:22-30
I realize that the most important scripture reading shared at the Eucharist is the Gospel reading, a segment from St. Luke’s Gospel today.
Connected to the Gospel reading in our Sunday cycle of readings is the Old Testament reading, today’s taken from the Prophet Isaiah. The choice of the Old Testament reading is meant to match, to complement, to show how Jesus’ message is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Today’s theme could be summarized in the fact that we are chosen – called – and that on the one hand, even those who are offered salvation do not always respond, and that others on the other hand who do not seem to have had as good a chance, respond with even greater fervor.
Making salvation seem restricted to only a few on the one hand and then open to all on the other.
This being said, I want to focus on the psalm and its accompanying response. It certainly reflects the positive dimension of the Gospel story.
The response to the psalm which we know is taken from the Gospels – “Go out to all the nations and tell the Good News.” And the psalm itself describes what happens when the Good News is received.
“Praise the Lord all you nations; glorify him all you peoples.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us
And the fidelity of the Lord endures forever.”
And that’s the whole psalm. Actually the shortest of all the psalms, but how beautiful. Let me briefly comment. “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News”. Nothing restrictive about that. Go out to all the world, not just a few, not just to those who are already good, not just to those we would like to have in our communities. Go out to all. The Church is universal. That’s actually what the word Catholic means. We should be very proud of it and of course make sure we live accordingly.
Ok. Go out to all and tell the Good News. Wouldn’t it be refreshing for us to firmly resolve that in the name of Jesus we have Good News – in a world that all too often bombards us with bad news! This good news is about being saved by God’s Son among us, Jesus Christ and how we are to live as his friends, to be worthy of such a great gift.
If any of us had a cure for cancer, diabetes, AIDS, wouldn’t it be worth going out to tell the world? If we had a solution that would purify our planet shouldn’t we let everybody know?
We have been given the means to being saved. Shouldn’t we embrace such good news and share it with others? I do hope that if we are people who have received the good news then we gather to praise and glorify the Lord. It is our response of gratitude. It is what God desires from us. And to live knowing the Lord’s steadfast kindness is with us always – that we can depend on the Lord being faithful forever.
What a great offer! What a great gift! Doesn’t it seem like something no one could refuse? May we be there, who have accepted it and want to share it.