21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

The last shall be first and the first last….

Luke 12:30

Beginning with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.

Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:

  • Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
  • Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Led By the Spirit – Eric Nordhoff

and when you are ready read the Gospel

a familiar story, and when we encounter a familiar story we can be inclined to hear the version we know rather than actually hearing the story. Try to listen to it as if for the first time, hearing something new in it…

the GospelLuke 13:22-30

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’


Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge.

Use some quietening music again if you wish.

Fairytale – Ludovico Einaudi


Ask yourself, how is this Gospel speaking to my situation in my life in this moment.

Once again Jesus replies to a question with a parable. If taken simply at face value, this parable would suggest that it is very difficult to ‘enter the kingdom of heaven’, however…..

Jesus has told us that the kingdom is within, in our midst (Luke 17:21), it is to be lived in the here and now.

Jesus says; “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, …. and at hand”, that is it is a dimension of experience available to you right in this moment.

Cynthia Bourgeault – The Wisdom Jesus, Transforming Heart and Mind

How does such an understanding of the Kingdom impact your reflection on this Gospel?

What is this Gospel calling me to be this week?


Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen


Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on our Gospel for this weekend in written or on video.


The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. I invite you to red it yourself below or to join with Richard Rohr in praying it (see also http://www.cac.org)

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.