Homily Twenty-First Sunday Year C Our salvation

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Homily Twenty-First Sunday Year C


Reading 1: Isaiah is prophesying about the future plan of God. This is the beginning of what will later be known as God’s plan for universal salvation. Though he has chosen the Israelites—the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be his Chosen People—to see his glory through many sings and wonders, God plans to extend his choice to all nations, who likewise will come to see God’s glory.


God had revealed to the Chosen People that there is no other God but the I AM. Once that reality was sealed in their hearts, God chose them to his messengers of this truth to all the nations. God will even use the infidelity of the Israelites—not living up to their covenant with God—to disperse them to many nations. There they will proclaim the glory of God. As a result, these will to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice.


God will make some of them priest. No longer with the priesthood of the Old Testament will suffice. A new priesthood will be established. The Old Testament priesthood was inherited, passed on from father to son. The new priesthood will be ones chosen by God. This prophesy was fulfilled in Jesus, who is the Savior of all and who established the priesthood of the New Covenant through a personal call.


Gospel: The theme of salvation continues.  Who will be saved? When this question was asked of Jesus, he didn’t answer it directly. The focus of his teaching is not who nor how many will be saved, but will I be saved.


Salvation is a response to a grace. Jesus through his death and resurrection has saved all, but not all will choose to be saved. They will not be willing to do what is necessary to respond to the grace of God given to them. Jesus makes it clear that just to be known as his followers or to know about him, is not enough. In another Gospel account he makes it clearer. It is not the one who knows of him, but the one who does the will of his Father will be save.


Then Jesus indicates that just because they were of the Chosen People. God will reject those who reject Jesus as the Lord and Savior of the world. Instead, God will invite others, who are not descendants of Abraham to experience the grace of salvation.


The words we don’t want to hear from God at the time of death and judgment is, “I do not know you. Depart from me.” That means salvation is a gift that if I don’t respond to and embrace, then I will love the eternal inheritance God had for me with him.


The key is, having been told about Jesus, have we come to a personal knowledge and commitment to Jesus as the Lord of our lives with all that means?  Peter’s journey is a model for us. After knowing about Jesus from his brother Andrew, after spending quality time with Jesus, when asked question number one, “Who do you say that I am?  Peter was able to answer, “You are the Christ.”  But the second question that Jesus asked Peter was the key to Peter’s eternal life. Jesus asked Peter, after the Resurrection, “Do you love me”?  Or more to the point, “Are you so in love with me that I am the Lord of your life.”?


Reading 2 Paul reminds us that part of our embrace of the grace of salvation involves submitting to the disciple of the Lord, as he forms us as his adopted sons and daughters. No one enjoys discipline, but discipline done in love bears much fruit. Paul thus tells us to endure our trials as discipline from God, transforming us.


We see the here and now. God sees our potential. We see our brokenness and weakness. God sees the possible end result. We cannot see or understand the end. God never loses sight of it for us. The end is our salvation, eternal life with him.

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