August 25, 2013 –– Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 66: 18-21; Ps 117: 1-2; Heb 12: 5-7, 11-13; Lk 13: 22-30
The final words of the final Gospel for the month of August are: “For behold some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Jesus is saying to us, “You may be at the front of the line, but it does not matter.” Theologians say that one concept that is embedded in this message is a perspective of the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews as the chosen people would seem to be the first, but the Lord is saying that there will be Gentiles who enter Heaven before them.
Jesus also has two strong stewardship messages in this Gospel. Throughout His ministry and all the way through His teachings He stresses the need for conversion. He calls for change in us, and that is exactly what is involved in living a stewardship way of life. We must experience a conversion of mind and heart to be a true disciple of Jesus, a genuine steward.
The second stewardship point is directly related to the appreciation of “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” At the heart of what Jesus asks us to do is service to others. The Lord also often reinforces the notion that putting the needs of others before our own is important to be a follower of Him. Stewardship involves knowledge of what it means to serve others, and a willingness to do so.