By Sharon Wilson
“Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” ~ Luke 13:30
I was a physical education teacher for ten years. During that time, I learned a lot from the students I taught. One of my favorite stories to tell is a little ditty about Angela and Bobby.
Angela was in second grade, and as her name suggests, she was as sweet as an angel. She had twinkling blue eyes, blonde hair and was always smiling. This story also involves Bobby. Bobby was a rough-and-tumble kind of boy. He was impatient and frankly needed a nap more than he needed Phy. Ed. on a Friday afternoon.
One Friday afternoon, as this second-grade class was lining up to leave, Angela came up to me without her signature smile. “Bobby budged in line!” she said.
What Would Jesus Do?
Since it was a Friday afternoon, I had little energy to devote to the Budging-Gate issue. I thought I could defuse the situation, I replied to her. “Well, Angela, what would Jesus say?”
Without missing a beat, she said, “He would say, get to the back of the line!”
For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last. Luke 13:30
I love retelling this story because it reminds me that Jesus is no wimp. Yes, he would say, “Get to the back of the line.” It sometimes seems we want Jesus to be this Mr. Nice Guy.
We know he is the one who forgives, but that doesn’t make him a pushover.
On the contrary, in today’s Gospel, He reminds us that getting into heaven isn’t for the faint of heart.
Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. Luke 13:24
I have done my share of charitable works that I think are doing a good deed. Dolling out food at Mary’s Kitchen or donating to St. Vincent de Paul always seems like a good thing to do and makes me feel good about myself. But like those Jesus mentions, will Jesus say, ‘I do not know where you are from.’
Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Luke 13:27
Jesus wants something more from us. He wants us to be magnanimous! He wants us to be courageous! He wants us to love Him beyond measure. If we can do that, we might just fit through that narrow gate!
Lord, help us to love the way you do. Guide us in all our actions to help us recognize the path that leads us to you.
Call to Action
This week, think of ways to give just a little more. Can you add 5 more minutes to your prayer time? Can you take some time to talk with someone in need? Can you go out of your way to be nice to someone who is unkind to you.
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