Jesus said to his disciples, «Do not give what is holy to the dogs, or throw your pearls to the pigs: they might trample on them and even turn on you and tear you to pieces. So, do to others whatever you would that others do to you: there you have the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many go that way. How narrow is the gate that leads to life and how rough the road; few there are who find it».
Since I have explained little too much yesterday, I would like to restrain myself with few words. While reminding you all of what I have said yesterday, I would invite you all to apply them in a different way today. Let’s learn to make the right choices and good discernment. All that pleases to the eyes and minds need not be good for our finality of life. We should prioritise the essentials of life and give the best to achieve it. Once our life priorities are fixed, it’s not difficult to make some difficult decisions.
For an example, though in my personal desire opt for a non-surgical treatment, I may be forced to make the right choice, if this intervention may help me to better my health status. Thus choosing a narrow path, though may not be agreeable in an immediate approach, may help us to achieve what we desire.
«Enter through the narrow gate»
+ Fr. Lluís ROQUÉ i Roqué
(Manresa, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Jesus makes us three important recommendations. We shall, however, pay attention to the last one: «Enter through the narrow gate» (Mt 7:13), in order to attain the plenitude of Life and be always happy, while avoiding going to perdition and be forever doomed.
If you look around you and around your own existence, you will easily verify that whatever is worthwhile is costly, and that all things having a certain level are subject to the Master's recommendation: as the Church Fathers have said with wisdom, «by way of the Cross all mysteries contributing to our salvation are fulfilled» (St. John Crysostom). In her deathbed, an elderly woman who had suffered much in her life, told me once: «Father, if you do not savour the Cross, you do not desire Heaven; if there is no Cross there is no Heaven».
All this contradicts our falling human nature, even though it has been redeemed. For this reason, in addition to facing up to our natural tendencies, we shall have to go against the tide because of our environmental upbeat founded on materialism and the uncontrolled relish of our senses, that —at the price of not-being— long for getting more and more each time, to be able to enjoy the maximum pleasure.
When we follow Jesus —who said «I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life» (Jn 8:12)—, we realize that the Gospel does not condemn us to a boring and unhappy life in darkness; on the contrary, it promises and gives us the true happiness. We only have to review the Beatitudes and look at those who, having entered through the narrow gate, have been very happy and have made others happy too, while obtaining —for having believed in and waited for He who never let us down— the reward of self-denial: «Many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life» (Lk 18:30). The Virgin's “yes” is accompanied by humility, poverty, the Cross, but also by the prize to fidelity and generous surrender.