21ST SUNDAY:  Lk 13:22-30
In today’s gospel reading, someone asked Jesus, “Lord, will only a few
people be saved?”  Who will be saved?  What does Jesus mean, when Jesus
tells us to enter through the narrow gate?  Will Jesus welcome us, or will
He turn us away?  These are good questions, and our readings give us
interesting answers.  In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah tells us:
“The Lord does not exclude anyone, but gathers all the nations of every
In the second reading, in the letter to the Hebrews, we are told: “Do not
lose your hearts and accept difficulties as God’s discipline.”  Such
discipline is a true opportunity to grow as true children of God.  We all
experience different kinds of sufferings in our lives — some of us more
than others — and we are all in good company because Jesus suffered, too.
But in our sufferings, God is always with us.  All our sufferings and
difficulties must be seen as gifts of a loving God and an opportunity to
bring forth the peaceful fruits of righteousness.
What does “being saved” mean?   To be “saved” means living in the
grace of God and having loving relationships with God and others.  How many will be
saved?  Jesus answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”
Many will attempt to enter, but will not be strong enough!
Rabindranath Tagore, who was an Indian poet, philosopher, artist, and Nobel
Prize winner, wrote a story about a man, who was searching for God.  One
day, on his journey, the searcher saw God by the side of a star from far
away.  He was so happy and excited about this, and he traveled and reached
the star; but by the time he reached the star, God had moved to another
star.  So, with disappointment, he continued on his journey to search for
God.  And, to his surprise one day, he reached a house in a faraway place
with a small sign in front of the house that read, “This is the house of
God.”  But, he had to climb so many steps to reach the house.  So, he
started to climb the steps; as he was coming closer and closer to the house
to knock on the door, suddenly fear appeared in his heart.  His fear was
about this:  “If this house is certainly the house of God, then what do I
do after I have found God!  What I am going to do with God?”  To search for
God was the only thing he did in his life.  With fear, he decided to go
back, and he thought that when he went back, God might call him back.  He
knew God’s home, but he avoided this home and he was still searching for
God everywhere!   Deep down, he knew that his search was not for God; but
his search was to nourish his ego!   He did not want to enter into the life
of Jesus, and he did not want to take any risk!  In our lives, too, like
this searcher, we have faith in God, and we want God; but we are afraid of
drawing closer to God.
 “Enter through the narrow gate,” means our own everyday living and our
relationships with God and with one another.  Narrow gate means our daily
struggles, daily crosses, surrendering to the Grace of God, living God’s
life, and the willingness to walk the path of love and to practice
spiritual discipline. Jesus, Himself is the narrow gate! Enter through the
narrow gate: it is up to our own decisions and choices, and it is very
hard; many find this to be extremely difficult and many simply reject it.
Most of the time, we prefer to go through the larger gateway of hatred,
revenge, and pride.
Every family should have the spirit of the narrow gate. When we enter
through the narrow gate, we have to bend down and be closer to each other,
and this will bring us the spirit of the narrow gate.  The narrow gate
atmosphere teaches us to avoid selfishness and pride and find a place for
others to enter through the narrow gate.  Do not forget that when we enter
through the narrow gate, we will be reaching God on the other side of the
In order to pass through the narrow gate, we need to unburden the things
that weigh us down: our evil ways, bad attitudes, selfishness, and
unbalanced love for material things.  Let us try to walk the path of love,
surrendering to grace and allowing this grace to flow through us to the
wider world.  The good news is that we do not struggle alone; we have God
with us and God’s grace is sufficient for us!
*“*And remember this: take the hard road, not the easy one. The road that
leads to life is a hard one, and it passes through a *narrow gate*, but the
road to destruction is easy, and the gate is broad. Plenty take the easy
road; few take the hard one. Your job is to find the hard one, and go by
*— Philip Pullman*

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