August 23, 2010
3-D Ticket to Heaven
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Luke 13: 22-30 “Do your best to go in through the narrow door”
Wedding is a special occasion for all of us. We do a lot of preparation to make it more memorable and meaningful. When my friend Jenny was asked to be the Maid of Honor of her bestfriend, it was the beginning of her serious preparation, as if she was the one who will get married. Without delay, she immediately rushed to her dressmaker and meticulously chose her DRESS to wear. But the preparation did not end there. A month before the wedding, she begun avoiding her favorite chocolates as part of her DIET program. She wanted a slim beautiful body for her bestfriend’s big day. But as the wedding day came closer, a business offer came up from Singapore. Without having a second thought, she politely turned down the offer. Her DESIRE to attend her bestfriend’s wedding was far more important than any business or personal interests.
There is also a big banquet coming in the Kingdom of God. All are invited; unfortunately not everybody will be able to enter the gate. In our gospel today, someone asked Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” His answer was a big surprise, “Do your best to go in through the narrow door; because many people will surely try to go in but will not be able (Lk.13:24).” Jesus even hinted that some of his followers will not be allowed to join the banquet. They will claim, “We ate and drank in your company (Lk.13:26).” But Jesus will simply say, “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evil doers (Lk.13:27).” The blame was on them. They did not prepare themselves for the Big Feast.
The 3-D preparation is a must for the big banquet in heaven. We are expected to dress appropriately, do our regular diet, and have great desire to meet our Savior. How do we do these? Let’s check our own 3-D list:
Dress – Do you wear your dress of righteousness and charity regularly? Don’t forget the guest
who was thrown out from the feast for not wearing the appropriate dress. (Mt. 22:12-13).
Diet – Do you do your spiritual dieting regularly? Cut down your excesses. Trim your pride and
selfishness. Avoid temptations. Turn away from sins. Remember, the gate to the
Big Feast is too narrow. Diet is a must to squeeze ourselves. (Matthew 3:2).
Desire – Do you have a genuine desire to join the Big Feast and meet Jesus? Are we like
the invited guest who says, “Not now, I am busy with my business and other things.”
Unlike any earthly wedding, preparing for the Big Feast is quite difficult, challenging and liberating. All are invited to the Big Feast but nobody knows when. The gospel gives us a stern warning - we will falter and fail if we don’t start preparing now. Thus, the challenge is to dress up, do your diet and desire for Jesus every day. If the 3-D prep becomes part of our daily life, the date of the Big Feast is not something to worry about, but something to look forward to.
In our newspaper this morning, it was reported that our Bb.Pilipinas International 2009, Ms.Melody Gersbach, 24, died in a road accident. She is too young to die. We really don’t know when our time is. Suddenly, it reminds me of my friends who are struggling hard with cancer. They are more or less prepared than us. Somehow, this is one of their graces.
So wake up. Do your 3-D preparation. And you will never be disappointed.
- Fr.Willy M. Samson,SJ / St.Joseph Parish, Zamboanga City / August 22, 2010