Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.”

There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy. – Henry Miller (American writer)

Gospel Text: (LK 13:22-30)
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.”

"What is the narrow gate and who will have the strength? What do I need to do to pass through safely? If it is not enough that we know you and follow your teachings, what else is required? Who are the last, who are the first, and where am I?"

The "narrow gate can be a metaphor for many things, all challenging. Perhaps a reminder that we can never be complacent in our faith. We may have made a commitment to follow Jesus but that means we are on "the way”; we can never say "I have arrived; I'm done.

Or, it may refer to the responsibility we each have for the life we have been given. "Going along with the masses" will not enable me to pass through the "narrow gate".

Or, a reminder for continual alertness to the “narrow gate” that is the result of discernment for the many decisions of life or the many ways we avoid the sometimes tough work of listening for God.

Today’s gospel with its reference to the narrow gate reminds me of the inscription over the entrance to Gethsemani, the Trappist monastery in Bardstown, Kentucky, which simply states, "God Alone". Today is a good day to reflect on "God Alone". As children of God, we are called to enter the Kingdom with our hearts open, with everything else left behind. Jesus led the way on the Cross, stripped of everything, alone and full of love for us and God. May we all follow Him into the Kingdom of God!

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