This Sunday's readings build upon another. First, Isaiah tells of the Lord's promise to create a kind of army that will go out to tell all people what they need to do to gain access to eternal life. Next, Ps 177, one of the Hallel psalms, calls that army to "Praise the Lord!" In the context of the Hallel psalms, though, this call is no generic demand. Next, the Letter to the Hebrews encourages and prepares for the trials and difficulties which will surely come as they have come at each moment in our long Judeo-Christian heritage. The Gospel completes this building pattern by addressing the question of salvation. "Will many be saved?" Jesus assures us that many will NOT and so we'd all better get to work "[Striving] to enter through the narrow gate!"
This sermon was delivered at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Tallulah, La on Sunday, August 21, 2016.