21st Sunday of the year, C

The gathering

Luke 13:22-30

A reading filled with consolation, Isaiah speaks of a time upon the coming of the Messiah that not only the children of Israel will be gathered, but also from nations unheard of will also join in the gathering  and everyone will be bringing fitting offerings for the Lord; there will be priests and levites formed by the Lord.

Gathering - remember that the etymology of the word church is "qahal Yaheh" a people called by God.  Our being Church calls us to be gathered in the Lord, called by the Lord, and destined to receive life in Him.  How much do we enjoy "being church"?  There are many wrong notions of Church that we need to change.

First, in order to be gathered correctly, we need to be invited.  God invites us.  We don't invite ourselves.  We were invited ever since we were born. We don't imagine that God is indebted to us because we fulfill a Sunday obligation.  We attend the Eucharist because we owe a huge lot of our lives and simply because God invited us to the gathering.

Second, we respond according to the One who invited us. God invited us; we adjust to what He wants.  We don't complain.  We enjoy everything He gives.  He wants us to be purified and made holy.  We will be just that.  We don't just go to church simply because it is beautiful or luxurious.  We accept everything in church, even it's uncomfortable to do so.

Third, we enjoy most of all the company of the One who invited us.  This gathering is a gathering of all saints.  Saints become saints because they are close to the Host.  We need to inculcate in our souls and bodies the very presence of Jesus.  The very essence of a Church is in the involvement of the members, using their whole bodies and souls, constantly formed by the Divine Master.  Otherwise, it is easy for the host to say, "I don't know you. Depart from me, you evil doers!"

Remember how it is to being church - the invitation, the one who invited us, and our participation in the invitation.