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Homily of Bishop William Crean- 21st August 2022- 21st Sunday C


21st Sunday C

21st August 2022

St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh

Seek to enter by the narrow door


My friends,

Speaking recently to a man whose family includes a young lad with significant mental and physical disability, who requires a great deal of care, observed that some families have it very tough.  Interestingly, he was speaking not so much of his own family rather of those families for whom their plight was indeed a great cross to bear.  A heavy cross despite all the help and assistance they have access to.

How do they manage to bear such a cross without becoming embittered and resentful?

The letter from the Hebrews to-day can be a jolt in that regard

​​“Suffering is part of your training;

​​ God is treating you as his sons”

Its not easy to hear that God visits suffering upon us as a form of training and does so out of love.

It might read differently if it said suffering is part of life and through our experience of coping with it, we are trained in the ways of wisdom and understanding.

Maybe that’s the direction the Gospel from Luke is pointing us towards as Jesus suggests “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because I tell you many try to enter and will not succeed”.

Right now, across so many countries are experiencing drought.  The low water levels are frightening for many and a worry for all of us.  Drought leaves us thirsty and unquenchedthirst leads to death.  This is a real physical reality which is potentially devastating.  But so is spiritual drought and the thirst and hunger it generates in people’s lives.  The anxiety and mental anguish so many experience in our day are too rarely diagnosed for what they are – namely the result of a spiritual drought.

Nobody chooses suffering in life – but it is a reality for all to one degree or another.  We can face it or seek to avoid it.  In Gospel terns one path is the narrow door – by confronting our pain we disempower it.  But it’s not easy – it calls for a conscious trust in the Lord to give us the grace to persevere, knowing that “his grace will always be sufficient”.

It is tempting for us to think that some have life easy and know no anguish or pain.  We’d be mistaken.  Better for us to embrace the challenge of our own life with the help of the Lord and Mary, thereby find within the peace of mind we yearn for always.


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