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Lk 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.

Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them,“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. 

Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


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Encountering Christ in a personal way

How tempting it is to treat religion as a realm of abstract, theoretical questions, such as the one posed in today’s Gospel: “Lord, will only a few be saved?” It is a question that, not only in Jesus’ day but even down to our own, has consistently preoccupied people and sparked some of the most rancorous of debates. But notice how Jesus responds, by refusing to accept the impersonal framing of the question. What is at stake is the questioner’s own salvation. “Strive to enter through the narrow door,” Jesus replies. Because salvation consists of being drawn into personal communion with the Father, Son and Spirit, the Son comes into the world so that we might encounter him in a direct, personal way. 

Those who insist on standing outside this encounter with Jesus may well have lots to say about Christianity, but it always has an empty ring to it. They are always one step removed from Christianity, because they are one step removed from Christ: “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But the Son wants us to drink him in and feed on him! Not only can we dare to hope that all will at last do so, we can offer our whole lives to the Lord in service of this end.

—Fr. Matthew Baugh, SJ, is a member of the USA Central and Southern Province and serves as the associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Dear Lord, grant me the grace not to be deaf to your call, but prompt and diligent in fulfilling your most holy will. (Adapted from St Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises, #91)

—Fr. Matthew Baugh, SJ


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Daily Examen

The examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives. Click on this recording to be guided through the examen and see how God has been present in your life today!

Welcome to Pray.ignatius.org

Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

August 25, 2019

Scripture

Lk 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.

Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them,“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. 

Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


Ignatian Reflection

Encountering Christ in a personal way

How tempting it is to treat religion as a realm of abstract, theoretical questions, such as the one posed in today’s Gospel: “Lord, will only a few be saved?” It is a question that, not only in Jesus’ day but even down to our own, has consistently preoccupied people and sparked some of the most rancorous of debates. But notice how Jesus responds, by refusing to accept the impersonal framing of the question. What is at stake is the questioner’s own salvation. “Strive to enter through the narrow door,” Jesus replies. Because salvation consists of being drawn into personal communion with the Father, Son and Spirit, the Son comes into the world so that we might encounter him in a direct, personal way. 

Those who insist on standing outside this encounter with Jesus may well have lots to say about Christianity, but it always has an empty ring to it. They are always one step removed from Christianity, because they are one step removed from Christ: “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But the Son wants us to drink him in and feed on him! Not only can we dare to hope that all will at last do so, we can offer our whole lives to the Lord in service of this end.

—Fr. Matthew Baugh, SJ, is a member of the USA Central and Southern Province and serves as the associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.

 


Prayer

Dear Lord, grant me the grace not to be deaf to your call, but prompt and diligent in fulfilling your most holy will. (Adapted from St Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises, #91)

—Fr. Matthew Baugh, SJ

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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