From the Desk of Father Mike
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, willattempt to enter but will not be strong enough” (Luke 13:23)
My Dear Friends in Christ:
Jesus reminds us in the Gospel that not everyone who calls out “Lord, Lord” at the end of their earthly journey will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This truth can be hard for us to hear, because it affirms that the way we live – and theway we DON’T live – will have an impact on our eternal life. Hard teaching to hear? Yes it sure is! But truth is truth. “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” A man poses this question to our Lord
and it sure is an important one. Maybe this man was seeking assurance that he was going to be saved – he didn’t want to be on the outside looking in. Or maybe, like many of us, he was worried about the strife, evil, and conflict in the world, and he wanted to make sure that he was on the right track. Just maybe he wanted a checklist of things he had to do – easy answers – in order to get to heaven.
Jesus tells him that salvation requires effort—strenuous, intensive, and sometimes maybe evenpainful effort. That it will be like squeezing through a narrow door that won’t always be open. Andthat we should never get overconfident, because we could very well be surprised who gets throughthe door, and who doesn’t. Maybe the reason it can be so challenging to squeeze through the narrow gate, is because we are grasping, carrying, and clinging to something that is just too oversized and big to make it through – and the only way we will make it through is to let go of what we are holding. In this earthly journey we have to let go of the baggage that weighs us down, that keeps us from moving forward and making any progress. How often do we cling too tightly to our own agendas, needs, and wants and/or grasp so firmly to our past resentments, grudges, anger, and hurts?
To live as a faithful disciple of Jesus is to let go – of all the things we pursue that distract us from truly living, all those things that end up being barriers, burdens, and baggage, of entering through the narrow gate. May the grace and the Eucharist we receive inspire our hearts to let go of whatever weighs us down, and to strive to enter through the narrow gate.
It is a joy and blessing to serve you as your Pastor,