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Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time C Lectionary: 123

Reading 1 - IS 66:18-21

Thus says the LORD: I know their works and their thoughts, and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the LORD in clean vessels. Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm - PS 117:1, 2
R. (Mk 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good or: R. Alleluia. Praise the LORD all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. or:
R. Allelu For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever. R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. or: R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 - HEB 12:5-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters, You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.” Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Gospel - LK 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

FOCUS QUESTIONS - 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C

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These questions are for reflection and discussion. Please understand that the homily may not address any of these questions directly. God speaks to hearts that are prepared.

1.How is the first reading a prophetic view of the Church today? Why would some Israelites have a difficult time accepting this as the will of God?

2.The Lord says through Isaiah Some of these I will take as priests and Levites… Who are the some of these? All priests in the Old Covenant had to be Levites, that is descended from Levi. Isaiah is therefore announcing a radical change. How do the words in John’s Gospel, chapter 1, verses 12&13 (look it up), reflect this change? How does this change touch you?

3.Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm—two verses. Try to memorize it. How does it fit with the first reading? Can you think of any parts of the Mass that reflect his same message?

4.The Psalm antiphon—Go out to all the world and tell the Good News—is not part of the Psalm. Where is it taken from? Do you think it fits with the Psalm?

5.Have you ever experienced the discipline of the Lord as described in the second reading? How are we supposed to see that discipline as a sign of God’s favor? Would you say that you have ever received the peaceful fruit of righteousness mentioned as the result of God’s discipline?

6.Did the nation of Israel have to experience the discipline of the Lord? When? Why? How was the ministry of Jesus in their midst a sort of prelude to that discipline?

7.If you had to summarize Jesus’ answer as either yes or no to the question will only a few people be saved what do you think it would be? Is God being unfair to narrow the gate like that? How do we reconcile this narrow gate with the invitation for all to come to him? (see Matthew 11:28, John 6:37)

8.How would you characterize those who are cast out from entering into the kingdom of God? How does this correspond to the message of Isaiah in the first reading and the Psalm? Would these words of exclusion extend to those of us who think we will be welcomed into the kingdom of God simply because we are baptized?

9.Have any of us ever said, “Well, God will have to accept me as I am.” Is that attitude viewing God’s gate to eternal life as broad or narrow? How is God’s discipline mentioned in the second reading like a narrowing of the gate that Jesus mentioned?

10.What has God spoken to you, and what do you intend to do about it?

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Daily Mass
Monday-Thursday; 8:00 AM Rectory Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday: 3:00-3:30 PM Church