REFLECTION FOR TODAY
June 22, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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.” Matt. 7:13-14
Jesus never promised us that as Christians it would be easy. He never said we will have a problem-free existence if we decide to follow him through the narrow gate. Every day as Christians we encounter temptation of different kind ranging from the choices we make between, love and hate, obeying and disobeying, fidelity, and compromise.
What should we do in situations like this or what should we think of Jesus and the life he has given us for choosing to follow him through the narrow gate? Is it worth it? If we were to ask this question to generations before us, the answer and response would be a loud and grateful YES because many of them had walk through this gate with persistent and perseverance in suffering.
Jesus speaks to us in love in our gospel reference today. He admonishes us to enter through the narrow gate rather than the wide and gate and broad road. The natural human inclination is to go through the wide and broad road, but Jesus calls us to do the contrary because of the consequence and result of the broad road.
The positive “yes” from generation past who had gone through the narrow gate comes from the fact they knew that Jesus was walking with them all through the journey. this one fact makes the difference. As Christian, do we know every step we take on the narrow gate that Jesus is walking with us?
Can you imagine that Jesus has paved the way for you and given you everything you need to follow him? Jesus has promised He will never leave you. Never! Even if you mess up terribly, He will stick with you. His mercy will cover you and His strength will empower you.
The “narrow gate” and the “constricted” road are found and walked by only a “few,” according to Jesus’ words. Again, we should take notice of this and take it seriously. Jesus would not say this if it were not true. Therefore, if the gift of the fear of the Lord is alive in your life, and if you truly are a son or daughter of God, then you will daily strive to be one of those “few” who find this narrow way to holiness. And, ideally, you will do so out of your love for God and your desire to give Him the greatest glory you can.
Reflect, today, upon this challenging teaching of our Lord. Take Him at His word and evaluate your life considering this teaching. What are you doing in life to be certain that you are one of those few who have begun to walk through this narrow gate? Does your love for God leave you with such a wonder and awe of the greatness of God that your deepest desire is to not only please Him but to glorify Him fully with your actions? Strive to enter the narrow gate and the constricted road and do not turn back. Though this requires much determination, sacrifice and love, the goal and end of the road are worth it.
Lord, You and You alone are worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. May everything, I do in life lead to Your glory, and may I avoid everything that harms my relationship with You. I love You, dear Lord. Help me to love You and glorify You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.