Enter through the Narrow Gate

Homily for Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Looking at our current culture, it is pretty obvious just how accurate this Gospel reading is for our time. There are definitely many roads leading to destruction and the road to heaven and life is getting even more narrow as time goes on. It is getting increasingly more challenging to seek to live out our Christian values. I would even venture to say that being a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just as challenging today than it was in the days of the first Christians, or in the very least, it is getting to that point very quickly.

No, we aren’t being physically persecuted for our faith, but we are being persecuted in other ways. In the workplace, we’re often times asked to participate in things that go against the teachings of our faith. How many times have we heard about others being asked to bend their beliefs to participate in “pride month” activities? Many are being told that they can no longer use the pronouns he or she, that the organization they work for is no longer recognizing the distinctions of male and female. The media tells us that if you support the traditional view of marriage that you are a bigot. If you don’t support a woman’s right to choose, you’re a religious nut. All of the things that we face simply because we are Christian.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

So what should our response be? What is the narrow gate? The narrow gate is love. The way we pass through the narrow gate is by embracing the Golden Rule, to love even though we are being persecuted for our beliefs. We are being called to respond like Jesus – when at the very moment He was crucified, He asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him for they didn’t realize what they were doing.

Christ is the model for our behavior. “Not only are we to do for others what we would have them do to us, but we are called to imitate Christ’s love for others: ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (John 15:13). We can fulfill this lofty command only by relying on the Lord’s grace.”[1]

As we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, let’s continue to ask the Lord for that grace, the grace to love even in the midst of persecution. The grace to love our neighbors even when it’s difficult. Let’s ask the Lord for the grace to always strive to enter the narrow gate.

Photo by Ani Adigyozalyan on Unsplash

[1] Marybeth Harper. “Golden Rule: Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time,” in Daily Reflections available on ePriest: A Resource for Catholic Priests.

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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