This week the readings come from Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117; the Letter to the Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13; and Luke’s Gospel 13:22-30.
The readings focus on salvation this week we begin with Isaiah where we basically have salvation for all people from Tarshish, Put, Lud, Mosoch, Tuba and Javan. If you have a great memory and remember that these names are descendants of Noah congratulations. The Noahic Covenant is still in effect and all people of all nations are in on the deal (that God will not flood the world to destroy everything. The focus shifts in the epistle where we hear that following the Lord isn’t easy as it requires discipline as those who the Lord love he disciplines. Sin is bound to happen but it is better to sin and repent on earth compared to suffering in the afterlife. This idea lead into the Gospel where Luke has Jesus warning us that “some who are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” It a peculiar saying in a world where we care about whoever comes out on top, we’ve spent the past two weeks doing this at the Olympics and in November as those in the US decide between Donny and Hillary. Yet these result really don’t matter as we should care more about the least of our brother and sister than we do about the rich and powerful. As Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day and Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have pointed toward in Catholic Social Teaching , the poor (the least in the world) are the most important people in the world. We are a church of the poor.