Intimacy Desired

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them, 
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.’
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”
(Luke 13:22-30)   

Scripture Study

13:24 the narrow door: Salvation depends first on God’s grace, then on our cooperation and obedience (Eph 2:8–10; Phil 2:12–13). Jesus here stresses the difficulties of the spiritual life, where few will enter God’s glory while the door remains open (Mt 22:14). See note on Mt 7:13.
13:27 depart from me: Although heirs to the kingdom, the impenitent of Israel will be shut out from God’s blessings (Mt 21:43; Rom 2:9).
13:28 weep and gnash: The suffering of the damned. See note on Mt 8:12.
13:29 east … west … north … south: Christ invites his family from the ends of the earth to celebrate with the patriarchs. ● Jesus evokes OT prophecies that depict Yahweh regathering the exiled children of Israel from the four points of the compass (Ps 107:3; Is 11:12; 43:5–6). The celebration banquet will include Israelites and Gentiles in the one family of God (24:47; Rev 5:9). See note on Lk 1:33.[1]

Reflection

“‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me . . .’”

Having lived in Japan for almost six years, we learned how a different culture viewed friendship. In our western culture, we have a tendency to freely and easily imply having a relationship with someone when we only just met. You have probably experienced this at work or school. A person is introduced to you. You chat, depart, and go about your life. Before you know it, this acquaintance is referring to you as ‘best friends.’

Our Japanese host found this behavior both humorous and challenging. Friendship in their eyes required a lengthier time together, so that you truly got to know who this person was. Friendship was viewed as a commitment to each other and therefore was not given away lightly. It required a trust that only came from spending intimate time together.

This is what Jesus is telling us today. We cannot simply view our relationship with him like some adoring fan of a popular public figure. For if that is the way we base our relationship with people, knowing only the public picture and nothing of who they are personally, how do we build the trust that is the foundation of a lasting relationship? How do we really ever know each other?

Christ wants us to know all about him. He wants us to know and trust him with our entire life. This takes a real commitment on our part to give ourselves totally to him, investing time in prayer and reading of scripture, to build the intimate relationship he so desires for each of us.

So will Christ know that it is you when you knock on his door?

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

[1] Curtis Mitch, “Introduction to the Gospels,” in The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 134.