October 31, 2018
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Creighton University's Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 481

Ephesians 6:1-9
Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14
Luke 13:22-30

Praying Ordinary Time

This day before the feast of All Saints. “Hallow’s Eve” here in North America is known as Halloween. The tradition is that children dress up in costumes and go around to houses ringing door bells or knocking and saying or pleading, or demanding “Trick or treat!” The response to this request is always a treat of candy, cookies or fruit.

This tradition has lost its religious roots of course, but the Gospel for this Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time has some of the “trick or treat” buried within. Jesus is making His way toward His final definition or revelation of His person and mission. He is asked on His way about just how many or few will be saved,  about who will have done the works of holiness or justification. Who will be dressed in the proper costume?

I quite love the costume-day immediately preceding All Saints Day. While hiding one’s true identity is a Trick and on this day, quite enjoyable to watch, tomorrow is the celebration of those who divested, who took off pretendingness and lived the Treat of the simple holy life.

Jesus’ reply to the one asking about being saved is wondering if he/she is carrying enough accreditation and self-affirming actions. Jesus images a “narrow Gate” through which only the costumeless, the stripped can pass through. Those who obtained their identity from what they did, would be unknown by the Master. They are pictured by Jesus as knocking on the door like Trick-or Treaters and the Master would say twice, that He did not know where they were from.

These costumed pretenders would not be receiving the treats of heaven, but the results of tricking themselves by dressing up in false identities and not receiving their reality and truth from their Creator and Savior. What the Master is saying to them is that He does not know where they are from, because they have refused to accept that they are from God and are on their journey of returning back through the narrow gate of believing their origin and destiny.

Please enjoy the life-long process of de-costuming and living our sainthood.

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