21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Published on 19 Aug 2019
A narrow door

Strong is his love for us!

O God, who cause the minds of the faithful

to unite in a single purpose,

grant your people to love what you command

and to desire what you promise,

that amid the uncertainties of this world,

our hearts may be fixed on that place

where true gladness is found.

Today’s Psalm places the truth of God’s love for all of humanity at the centre of this Sunday’s liturgy.

The prophet Isaiah in the First Reading speaks of a time when the Lord will gather all people to himself. God’s love is so strong that people of every nation, race, and belief – and even those of no faith – will be counted as his children.

But we are reminded in the Gospel to be careful; to avoid being complacent about our own faith and religious practice. There are no limits to where the spirit of God is at work, and God has no favourites. There is an urgency in Jesus’s teaching here that links directly to Isaiah, for he speaks of a time when all will be gathered into God’s kingdom feast, but those who take their faith for granted may find themselves shut out.

This spiritual teaching may seem harsh, but the Second Reading from Hebrews explains that our spiritual and temporal trials can only be understood when we are aware of the truth of our relationship as daughters and sons of God. God’s love for us is strong, and God only wants what is best for us.

At a time when there is much division and animosity within political life and between nations, races and religions, let us pray that we, who belong to a community united by prayer, may by our words and deeds be a powerful sign of God’s strong love for all of humanity.

The Lord says this: ‘I am coming to gather the nations of every language. They shall come to witness my glory.’     First Reading

Strong is his love for us: he is faithful for ever.      Responsorial Psalm

Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.     Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further

Isaiah 66: 18–21; Psalm 116 (117); Hebrews 12: 5–7.11–13; Luke 13: 22–30