Today’s Thoughts: “Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.” This is the entrance antiphon for today’s mass and I have to admit I do not often pay attention to the entrance antiphon. Some parishes where I have celebrated daily mass will always stand and read the entrance antiphon as I enter others do not. I have to say I rarely even read it. Yet at I was praying with today’s readings earlier this morning my eyes stopped at this entrance antiphon because I think in a few phrases it captures the essence of our readings today.
In our first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul gives the community at Ephesus a blue print for being community. St. Paul challenges each part of the community to live according their call as Christians to find God in each other. St. Paul challenges them to let their hearts seek the Lord.
In the Gospel Jesus is confronted with questions about who will be saved, and his answer is that to be saved is a hard journey which is not always predictable. Entering the Kingdom is fraught with many challenges and what is necessary is strength. The best way to find and enter through the narrow gate is to trust in the presence of God in life and to draw upon the strength we are graced with through our friendship with God. For Jesus it is all about the lens we look through in life. Do we see things as the world invites us to see things or do we see things as God asks us to see things?
If we chose the world’s way of looking at things the road is wide and easy, but the end leaves us outside in the cold. If we chose God’s way of seeing things the road is narrow, difficult and challenging but in the end, we will find ourselves safe and warm in the Kingdom.
We do not make this journey alone, we are part of a community of believers, the Body of Christ. St. Paul tells us we need to respect all the members which at times can be hard, but Jesus tells us if we do so we will be welcomed to the table of the Kingdom.
So, let us be a community, a Church of joy because our hearts seek the Lord; let us rely on God for strength for the journey; let us constantly be focus on the face of God – today and always!
Have a great Wednesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"