1 Ephesians 6:1-9
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate."
Jesus is walking with a crowd of people. Someone asks; "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" Jesus doesn’t answer the person’s question. Instead, he says, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
Jesus turns the person’s question around. He doesn’t let it stay on the mathematic or theoretical level. He directs it to this individual personally. He invites this person – and each of us today – into self-reflection. Are you going to be saved? Yes, there’s a danger that many people will not be saved. But don’t let that happen to you.
What is this "gate" that Jesus is speaking about? It is the gate to eternal life. It is the gate to the kingdom of God, the household of God and the heavenly banquet.
The question we need to ask is what makes this door so difficult to get through? Jesus says there is only one gate, and it is a narrow one at that. Not everything will fit. This narrow gate has no room for your pride, your power, your property or your prestige. No room for anything you may think will earn your way in.
Many believe the narrow gate is Jesus himself. If we follow Him who called Himself "the way, the truth and the life." we will indeed get through the gate. . Jesus fills that "hole in our soul" that only He can fill. Once we commit to following Jesus, then we will understand what can go through the door and what can’t. But following Jesus is not easy.
The gate may be narrow, but it is open. It is open NOW, for you and for me. Right now, as you are reflecting on the words of the gospel, God is opening His gate to you. God is speaking to you, inviting you in, and encouraging you to open your hearts to the Word of God AND TO LIVE YOUR LIVES ACCORDING TO THAT WORD.
Deacon Brian Clements is a retired member of the retreat team at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.