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Sunday, August 23, 1998

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21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 66:18-21
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Psalm 117
Luke 13:22-30

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are you saved? are few saved? (see sept. 20)

"Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?" —Luke 13:23

Jesus taught: "The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!" (Mt 7:13-14) Jesus seems to have said that only a few people are saved from damnation. If this is a correct interpretation, our future is terrifying.

To make sure he was understanding Jesus correctly, "someone asked Him, 'Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?' " (Lk 13:23) Jesus did not answer that question exactly; instead, He stated that many will try to come into His kingdom and be unable (Lk 13:24). Jesus also declared that eating and drinking with Him and having heard His teachings do not assure us of salvation (Lk 13:26-27). Therefore, some people who have a good Christian background and have been involved in many Christian activities will not be saved. "Some who are last will be first and some who are first will be last" (Lk 13:30).

How can we be saved? We are saved only by God's grace (Eph 2:7ff). What must we do to be saved? (Acts 16:30) "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (Acts 16:31). Give Jesus your whole life and "work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation" (Phil 2:12). Believe in Jesus, the Savior, now.

Prayer:  Father, deepen my faith as I hear Your word (Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed." —Heb 12:13

Praise:  Alleluia! His tomb is empty, and ours will be empty! Jesus will take those who believe in Him to heaven! Praise Jesus, risen from the dead!

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998