Gospel: Lk 13:22-30
Jesus went through towns and villages teaching, and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?”
And Jesus answered, “Do your best to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has gone inside and locked the door, you will stand outside. Then you will knock at the door, calling, ‘Lord, open to us!’ But he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know where you come from. Away from me, all you workers of evil.’
You will weep and grind your teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last, will be first; and some who are among the first, will be last!”
Today’s first reading, despite contrary appearances, is very relevant to contemporary Christians because now, in contrast with the past of just a few generations ago, about as many Christian women are found in the workplace as Christian men. And so, Paul’s teaching has a more universal application than ever before. Of course Paul couches his teaching in reference to the conditions of his day, and that is to be expected. But we can easily adapt it to our present situation simply by substituting to the pair master-slave the pair boss-employee.
And so, this is as good an occasion as any to examine ourselves in our role as bosses or employees. If I am an employee, do I work only when I am watched by my boss or only to impress my co-workers and earn Brownie points? Or do I work to please the Lord Jesus, who was himself a worker and certainly did his best at all times? On the other hand, if I am the boss, do I bully my employees, humiliate them at every turn, ridicule them? Do I remember that they are my brothers and sisters in Christ? If I were an employee, how would I like to be treated?