October 31, 2018
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:22-30)
Today’s Gospel message is “hard” but one each of us needs to hear as we walk on our faith journey.
It is clearly not enough to be just in Christ’s company or to have heard his teaching, for example, being a baptized Catholic or even routinely fulfilling a few religious obligations like being physically present at Sunday Mass but not really part of what is going on. To go in the “narrow door” is to be actively committed to living the Gospel in one’s daily life.
It would be wrong for us to read this gospel as mere historic interest. It is addressed directly to each one of us. It is vital that we, as Catholics, do not think that, simply on the basis of our membership of our Church, we are somehow on an inside track and that, if the worst came to the worst, we could always get a confession or a final anointing to set things straight. That would be very presumptuous and very dangerous on our part. We could very well be in a position to hear those terrible words, “I do not know who you are”.
Each day and all the days of our lives we have to walk through that narrow door, that door of faith and trust and love for Jesus and our brothers and sisters. Only then will we find ourselves joining the patriarchs, the prophets and all the saints in that life of unending happiness and union with our God for which we were made.
Prayer of The Day
Father, you have brought us safe thus far. We thank you for the wisdom that has come from our suffering, for your grace that has helped us refrain from bitterness and your love which sustains us. Little by little, you have grown us into people who reflect, however imperfectly, the image of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us continue that journey so that each of can us pass through the narrow gate into your father’s Kingdom. Amen.
True discipleship is not a casual relationship with Jesus or a selective acceptance of his teaching. The cost of discipleship involves a sacrificial kind of love which commits the believer to Christ and to all that he teaches, both by word and example. The question for each of us has to be:” Is my following of Jesus half-hearted, or fully committed?”