Luke 13: 22 – 30

Today’s Gospel reading from St Luke is ‘worrying’, to put it mildly – at least the thought that there are many who try to enter by the narrow door but will not succeed, isn’t what would be inclined to inspire hope, is it? … As I say, a bit worrying!

In thinking about it, though, and in trying to see behind the words, it has occurred to me that the challenge should be seen rather as an invitation – and then the hope has free reign and we can be confident, but not presumptive, in God’s mercy and His love for us, and as St Paul writes – that God wants all men to be saved. (1Tim 2:5)

So briefly – hopefully! – I was reflecting on the words of the Lord, when he says ‘I do not know where you come from’ and wondering how it might be that He would be able to say instead, ‘I know you, I know where you come from’ What can I do to make Him recognise me? More, that is, than merely claiming to have eaten and drank with him and have been on the streets where he taught?

It seems to me that it’s basically about attachment and detachment. I can say ‘I know Jesus’, and ‘I’ve heard of Him’, ‘a great man, worked miracles, saved people, forgave their sins, was crucified’ … and more – but none of that means a whole lot if I don’t commit myself to Him, attach myself to Him. And that’s not easy, because as soon as I acknowledge that He is God, it means I have to begin to really listen to Him and try to live as He invites us to. I can sit at His table, and everything He says can wash over me: in one ear, out the other – and if that’s the way I live, then He will be justified in saying ‘I do not know where you come from’.

But if I sit there – if you sit there – and let His words sink in, let them transform you and become your whole way of living in the world – then what will happen? He will recognise you, you will have become like Him; He will look at you and see reflected in you … Himself! Isn’t that amazing? I think it’s astonishingly amazing! And then He will say to me and to you ‘I do know you, I do know where you come from’. We will be acknowledging that we are children of God, that this is what we want to be, and God Who is our Father will draw us to Himself and keep us close to Him, will Himself keep close to us, in all our need of Him and in all our joy. We will be truly members of His body, … even His little finger!