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More Second Fiddles, Please!

There are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last
Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117:1-2; Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13; Luke 13:22-30

Sermon Week Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 13:30

A college newspaper once offered a prize to the person who submitted the best answer to life's big question: "Why? ... What's life all about?" The entries came pouring in -- hundreds more than anticipated. And, in general, the answers were laced with cynicism. Among them:

Life is a joke that isn't funny.

Life is the jail sentence we get for the crime of being born.

Life is a disease for which there is only one cure: death.

Life is a "B-grade" movie. You don't want to leave in the middle, but you don't want to see it again.

However, at least one response to that college newspaper's "What's life all about" survey was not tainted with cynicism. It simply read:

Life is a love!

In today's lesson from Luke's Gospel, we hear Jesus say:"... there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last" (Lk. 13:30). In Mark's Gospel, Jesus elaborates on this teaching:

"If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all" (Mk. 9:35).

Throughout the Gospels the message is clear: Only in a life of service can the answer to the "Why?" of life emerge.

Summarized in a single word, the New Testament answer, the Christian answer and, therefore, our answer to the "Why?" of life is Love. The quality of our personal relationships is what truly counts in this life. And, it is in the process of carrying out our Christian commitment to enriching the quality of our relationships with others that we probe ever-deeper into the mystery of God's purpose: the "hidden plan He so kindly made in Christ." Simply put, it is in the loving that the learning takes place. It is in the loving that we probe ever-deeper into the mystery of who we are, and why we are, and where we're going with our lives.

As Christians, we recognize that we are given what we need to know. We acknowledge that we don't have to know all there is to know because God is in control.

Life is a love! That's God's plan and that's all we need to [...]

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