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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
August 22, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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August 22, 1998

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Page 6 August ZZ, 1c ' 8" c ARKANSAS CATHOL j-" 'narrow door' of 0 TODA¥ Isaiah 66:18-21 Hebrews 12:5-7, I 1-13 Luke 13:22-30 Fr. William Gould or'd, are there few in number who are to be saved?" This question, posed by an anony- mous member of the crowd, has been asked by rnany since Jesus' time. After all, His teachings require so much from us! How can anyone live up to them? Is salvation theretbre something that only a chosen few can experience? Will the rest of us be left out in tire coht, or" worse still, tossed into the everlasting fires? It's interesting to note that Jesus fails to answer the question. Instead He re- sponds to what the questioner should have asked. "Try to come in through tile narrow door." "Don't be concerned about how many people are going to be saved," He seems to say, "but focus your attention on whether you will be one of them." This is still good advice. In fact, it's tile best advice possible. In today's first reading, the prophet Isaiah tells us that God desires that the whole world be saved. "I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come to see my glory.., all your breth- ren from all nations as an offering to the Lord..." But will everyone be saved? Only if they are able to "come in through the narrow door." .Jesus Christ is that "narrow door" and the source of salvation. Those who claim to be believers must enter it befbre the end of time (or the end of their own time), that is, when "the master of the |rouse has risen to lock the door." It is not enough for so-called believers to have seen Jesus in the dis- tance or have watched tlim from the sidelines of life. Faith matter of having a good ting high on Jesus." It take tire l.ot+d and His ously. is not just a time and "get- requires us to teachings serf- Jesus' words about the "narrow door" ¢1o not mean that few will be saved. They tell us that we enter ewwlasting file on the Ix)rd's terms and not on Ollr own. St. Paul's gives us some very good advice: "So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight the paths you walk on, that your hahing limbs may not be dislocated but healed." If we want to be saved and are will- ing to do what is necessary -- that is, if we whole-heartedly embrace the Lord and His teachings -- we can be saved. Father William Gould ~" weekly column is .sponsored by Little Rock Scripture Study. Superheroesl Those in the • movies are very • exciting. They're stronger, faster, or I tougher than anyone else. But they're all make-believe. They aren't alive. They never were. True heroes HAVE lived, though. The Bible is filled with stories about real, live heroes. Samson was one of these. He lived long before Jesus came. Samson was an Israelite. An angel told his parents he was ;pecial. He told them never to cut baby Samson's hair. As long as Samson's hair kept growing, so did his strength. He grew up to be the strongest man everl Samson's people had enemies called the Philistines. They did everything they could to make the Israelites' lives hard. Samson didn't hate the Philistines, though. In fact, he fell in love with a Philistine girl He wanted to marry her. On his way to her village. Samson heard a loud noise. It was the roar era wild lion! Samson didn't have a gun or a knife. He just had his two strong hands and his faith in God. "Please help me, Lordl" he prayed. God made him stronger than ever, He killed the lion with his to do one last thing to help his people. bare hands. found outwhat made Samson so strong. She begged Samson to tell her the secret, Finally, he got tired of her questions. "All right, all rightl I'1t tell you my secret, Delilah. Cross your heart that you'll never tell." Delilah promised. Of course, she was tying. "My secret is God," said Samson. "He has given me super-strength. The Lord told my parents never to cut my hair. As long as it is uncut, I will be strong." Delilah was excited. She couldn't wait to tell. After a while, Samson took a nap. While he was sleeping, Delilah cut his hair. Then she went to tell the Philistines. When Samson woke up, he was as weak as a baby. The Philistines easily captured him. As soon as they caught Samson, they poked out his eyes. Samson was blindl The Philistines were proud of catching him. They kept him like a wild animal. They showed him offat parties. Theywere terrible peoplel Because Samson was blind, they weren't afraid of him anymore. Little by little, his hair grew back. As it did, Samson grew stronger. One night the Philistines were having a big party. Thousands of people were there. Samson said to his guard, "Hey, put me between the big columns, okay? I like to have something to lean on." The big columns or posts were made of stone. They were holding up the roof of the temple. Samson asked God to make him stronger than ever. Then he put one hand on each column and PUSH E D with all his might. The roof caved in1 It killed all those enemies of God's chosen people. Sadly, Samson was also killed. Even without his eyes, though, he had managed ible J TO THINK ABOUT Old Testament times (before Jesus came to save us) were l very d fferent God would never want US to kitl a bunch of people! I Jesus came to bring peace. He I said to be good to those who are I mean to us. When Samson ved things were different. Those who didn't believe in God wanted to kill those who did. God wanted to protect his chosen people. That's why he made Samson so strong. SamSOn wasn't a hero because he killed people. It was because he triedtO do God's wilt. He did what he thought was right, even when it cost him his own life. Losing his sight was a terrible thing. Samson didn't sit around feeling sorry for h resell. He waited for a chance to help his people. When it came, he did what he had to do~______..___.~ Another day, Samson was on his way to marry the girl. He saw bees around the body ofthelion. He made up a riddle about the lion CROSSWORD PII I,E J and the bees, Then he bet some Philistines they couldn't figure it out. Across The Philistines couldn't solve the riddle. They forced Samson's 4. God told Samson's 14. Mother and lather against someone , wifet°find°ut theanswerTheyw°nthebet Samson knewhiswife parents __ to cut 16. Person who decides 7. God's chosen PeOplm] had helped them. He was so angry that he went away. The gifts father said Samson had left her forever. He made her marry a man who had been at her first wedding. He was a Philistine like her. When Samson came back, he was angry about losing his wife, He fought many battles against the Philistines. The Philistines were really :~i:~:~ iqml~Aafraid of him. Twenty years went by. Samson had be- come a judge. He was proud of being a judge, but lonely. Finally, he met a woman he liked. Her name was Delilah [dee-lie-luh}. BAD NEWSI Delilah wasn't a nice woman. She was greedy. She knew the Philistines wanted to capture Samson, She made a deal. They agreed to give her lots of money if she his hair. 6. The people who didn't like the israelites 8. Sam=on's .----. gave him strength i 1. God told Samson's parents that Samson was 12. Not able to see 13. All alone and sad Samson was after his wife left him court cases; Samson became one of these Down !. Delilah ~._ not to tell sam=on's secret, but she was lying 2. A greedy woman who tricked Samson 3. Caught; samson was by the Philistines 5. People who are 9. Delilah made a ~1 with the Philistines tO tell them Samson'S secret 10. A wild animal - Samson had to kill t0 save himself 14. These were holding up the roof of the temple -"0f I 1 S. Something that 113,~ I supposed to be to,,' I .,.._---.___ .~.~1.,~ THE TOP OF THE PAGE TOWARD THE GROUND AND VIEW FROM THE BOTrOM TO FIND THE MESSAGE. WHAT SAMSON WAS Fax: 501-663-5271 1000 Rushing Circle Suite A, Little Rock Uniforms