12th Week OT (T)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Priory, NOLA
Jesus says that the gate to the Kingdom is narrow. As an Ample Friar, I want to know why. Why can't the gate be deep and wide? For that matter, why is there a gate in the first place? Why not just take down any and all barriers to the Kingdom? If we see the gate – even metaphorically – as an obstacle outside the human heart and mind, we're likely to think that God is being stingy with his entry visas. But that can't be case b/c we know we were created and re-created for heaven. So, what is this gate? It is a measure of how we have or have not received the Father's graces. A measure of how we have or have not put those graces to work for the salvation of souls. The more and better I put on Christ, the less there is of me to squeeze through the gate. It is Christ in me that passes through. For example, the Beatitudes tell us about those who have decreased so that Christ might increase in them. They are called “Blessed” b/c they are small in the world but large with Christ. When we run after applause, prestige, and influence all in the cause of becoming god w/o God, we refuse the graces the Father freely gives us, becoming bloated with pride and envy, displacing Christ with sin. The gate to the Kingdom appears to us to be deep and wide to accommodate our spiritual girth. I mean, why wouldn't God want someone as wonderful as Me in His Kingdom!? Jesus answers, yes, that gate is indeed wide but the broad road leading to it takes you to destruction. The narrow gate is built to fit Christ, so we can be no more than him.
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