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October 31, 2019

Dear Family of Mary! 

     
“Dear children, the will and the love of the Heavenly Father make it so that I am among you, that I, with a motherly love, may help the growth of faith in your heart, for you to be able to truly comprehend the purpose of earthly life and the greatness of the heavenly one. My children, the earthly life is the way to eternity, to truth, and to life – to my Son. I desire to lead you on that way…”(October 2, 2019)


Yesterday’s homily was so precious I could not hold back from sharing it today in written form!  (Thanks to Stephanie for transcribing it so quickly and so well!!)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke. (Luke 13:22-30)    

 
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 evil-doers.

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 from 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.
The gospel of the Lord.
 
 
 
English Homily in Medjugorje
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Fr. Philip Kemmy
 
           
The question is put to Jesus: Will only a few people be saved? And I think, we hear that question and we’d like Jesus to give a clear answer. Give us percentages. So that we might know what our chances are. If he says, well, 90% will be saved; we’ll say, oh well, I have a reasonably good chance. If he says, 10% will be saved; we’re thinking- oh, I need to up my game here. 

But Jesus doesn’t give facts and figures and percentages. He gives no direct answer. But he does give some clear advice: Strive to enter through the narrow gate.   
Elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus speaks of the narrow path or the narrow road. And this idea of the narrow gate, or the narrow road, in the other gospels, it goes against a trend with many in the church these days who seem to think that the only thing one has to do to enter heaven is to die – and maybe not be Hitler or Stalin. The only qualification for heaven in the minds of many is, I take my final breath. And that is not the case.

Salvation is not something automatic. It is indeed a free gift given to us by our savior. It is his desire. But it is a gift that we have to reach out and take hold of. St. Augustine said something like: God made you without your cooperation, but he will not save you without your cooperation.

During the summer I was on retreat, and one night I had a very strange dream. And in the dream, I dreamt that I was a technician for NASA. I wasn’t the astronaut. As you can see, I wouldn’t really be qualified to be the astronaut. So in my dream, I was one of the technicians. And I was in the space shuttle.

There were several astronauts there. And the main engineer was coming in with his checklist, his manifesto, making sure we were ready for take-off. And in the dream, he’s looking around the inside of the space shuttle, and he realizes that the astronauts have brought bags of stuff with them… The food they like from home. Things that remind them of home. Some little comforts here and there. Bags of stuff… Over in one corner of the shuttle.

And the engineer looks at his page and he looks at all of this stuff, and he says, “What is this doing here?” And the astronauts said to him, “Well, we just, we want to take some stuff with us.” He said, “You don’t, you can’t take these things with you. Don’t you realize that I have measured everything perfectly. Every weight of this space shuttle is measured. And all of this stuff is going to put my measurements way off track. So, if we launch with all of this stuff – at best, we’re not going to land where we intend. At worst, we’re going to crash land. We need to get rid of this stuff.” 

So he instructs me. And he and I start taking these bags of things, open the shuttle door, and throw them out. And the astronauts are protesting. They’re very, very annoyed. And he keeps saying to them, “But you can’t fly with this. You cannot take off with this.”

And then I woke up. And I thought, what a strange dream. And because I was on retreat, before breakfast, off I went to do my holy hour. And in the holy hour, I’m thinking, I’m dreaming about being an astronaut? Well, not quite an astronaut. But, for NASA, what was that? And as clear as day the thought came to me: Meticulous planning of the minutest detail is needed to get to the moon. But, how few there are, who have any plan whatsoever for the journey to heaven. We know that we have to plan for so many other things. And yet, we can be sometimes very haphazard about our ultimate destination.    

And I think that seeing so many have, it seems, little or no plan, Our Lady has come to give Her plan, Her project. They’re often called, Our Lady’s Five Stones, or her Five-Point Plan: (1) Praying the Rosary with the heart, (2) Holy Mass, (3) The Bible, reading scripture daily, (4) Monthly Confession, and (5) Fasting.

These five points will keep us on track. Prayer will keep our hearts’ desires fixed on that narrow gate. The Holy Mass will keep our souls, as it were, loitering at that narrow gate. Because at every Mass, whether you know it or not, you dip your toe into eternity. We are in heaven right now. The daily scripture will help our eyes focus on that gate. Fasting will stir up a hunger, a longing to enter that gate. And Confession will help keep us humble and small enough to eventually be able to enter that gate. That’s Our Mother’s plan, and it’s a good one.

Will only a few be saved Lord? We are not given the answer to that question in numbers and percentages. But the answer to that question becomes utterly irrelevant to me if I, myself am not one of those who are saved. If I’m not saved, it will not matter whether 99% are saved; or whether 9% are saved. It won’t matter. I’m not saved.  

So what’s our plan? Meticulous planning of the minutest detail is needed to get to the moon. How few there are who have any plan at all for the journey to heaven. Our Lady has a plan. It’s a good one. Let’s start following it.  

And then, we will be ready whenever the final call comes. Whether it be today. Whether it be in 10, 20 years’ time from now. Whenever we are called to that narrow gate. We’ll be ready. We’ll have no excess baggage. And we’ll joyfully enter into the salvation Christ Jesus won for us. It is important for us to get ahead in life. But it is more important that we enter eternal life with God forever. Let us always, daily, fix our attention on that. And we’ll not go too far astray.   (English Mass Homily, October 30, 2019, Fr. Phillip Kemmy)

   
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2019