Through The Narrow Gate
Gospel Reflection: Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
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."
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”
After reading today’s gospel, one crucial question that may arise is.. how do I enter this narrow gate. The answer is through Jesus. God sent Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and help us enter the narrow door to be in the Kingdom. To enter the narrow door, we have to strive to enter it by means of enduring the struggles of life in terms of temptations. In life, there are times that we find it hard to live, we struggle all the time, and sometimes we are in so much agony, and that’s where temptations enter. Jesus is the only way through the narrow door. His words are what we need as a guide on how we can keep up with those struggles.
Christ must be our strength!
It is those without Christ that will not enter through the eternal gates. Let us surrender, therefore, our pride, our strength, and our power for the Glory and work of God. Place your trust in him, in his will! As stated in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He desired us to return to him. However, we MUST SURRENDER to Him so that he can work in our life so that He can be our strength. Therefore let us say, “I love you, LORD; you are my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.” (Psalms 18: 1-3).
Let us praise the Lord this day and always!
Of course, this passage and it’s similar one found in Mt. 7 begs the question how many will be damned and how many will be saved? Augustine & Aquinas take the position that most will be damned.
Balthasar attempts to use Eastern Greek Fathers to argue for a sort of hopeful universalism. Hell must be an affirmed doctrine, but can we hope that all will be saved? Is there a distinction between hoping/wishing?
I take Ralph Martin’s approach to the question, which is why evangelization is so important to both Martin and me. I take Christ at His word, so I’m going to preach the saving power of the gospel because it’s likely that most will not enter the narrow gate. Nonetheless, if Balthasar is correct, and most are saved, glory be to God. The Lord still called me to that mission.
This is an excellent reflection. As I read this, two things personally stood out to me. One was the word surrender. I am good at saying, Lord please do this and that for me, but it doesn't accur to me to add from my will and heart " not my will but thy will be done"! That is surrender to the Lord. The second thought that came to me is this. Jesus, to summarize and paraphrase, promised good things for me, to care abd give me hope. However, there are times in my life, like now,where nothing is good. And I think so much for that promise. However, Jesus was not just promising for this life. He was speaking of life after this life. It hit me. This life is brief! A blink of an eye! Eternal life is forever.It never ends. Of course its more important! One thinks of these things when 75!!! But its true for us all!