Sunday, August 25, 2019
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13:24
What does this line tell us? It reveals that we cannot enter Heaven by our own will or through our own effort. Furthermore, it tells us that though some will try to get to Heaven through their own effort, this approach will not work. Upon meeting our Lord, after death, they will be surprised that they are not a member of His Kingdom.
This clear and somewhat shocking statement from our Lord should have the effect of causing you to step back and look at your life so as to sincerely and humbly examine the path you are on. Jesus’ directness and clarity on this real experience that some will have should help to open your eyes so as to honestly examine if He is speaking about you.
It takes true humility to face the truth, at times, and to admit if we are trying to rely more upon ourselves than upon Christ. The “narrow gate” is that gate through which the humble enter. Pride and self-sufficiency lead us to attempt to make our own path to Heaven. But this path is never the correct one.
Entering the “narrow gate” also means that we listen to God. He, as the divine Shepherd, is always calling to us in a gentle way. Only when we are attentive to His voice will we know where He is leading us. Only then will we discover the way through the one and only narrow gate.
Reflect, today, upon that moment when you meet our Lord face to face. What will that encounter be like? Will it be one where He greets you with open arms saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your reward.” Or will it be one in which He says, “I do not know you.” Now is the time to face your life of faith with honesty, striving to rely only upon the strength of our divine Lord.
Lord, I do desire to enter the narrow gate. I choose to follow Your gentle voice, leading me to Heaven. Help me to remain humble in life, shedding all that leads me to rely upon myself. May I rely only upon You, dear Lord, and trust You in all things. Jesus, I trust in You.