Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Narrow Gate

BEADS OF JOY 08-21-16
“The Narrow Gate”
©2016 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:22-30 (The Narrow Gate)
“He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, `Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, `I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, `We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, `I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!' There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."


I have to say, I did a Google search for an image for “The Narrow Gate” and in the midst of those pictures there was The Crown of Thorns; and I thought to myself, “How out of place was that in this search?” Then the Holy Spirit tugged at me and I heard, “No it’s NOT! Look deep into its meaning, what does it represent?” Ah YES... It represents, persecution! “The Narrow Gate!” Jesus said in today’s gospel, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Of cause, how many will be able to handle the persecutions of this life to enter into the glory of the next with our Lord. Those thorns represent true courage of the real Christian, the real follows of Jesus who can and will take the narrow door.

There is much persecution ahead for those who believe; who will be strong enough to withstand what lies ahead? Do you trust in God’s grace and love and help in the most difficult times? Sometimes we are tested, sometimes our feet are put to the fire and the flames are real; as Christians we must be true to ourselves and true to God. Paul the Apostle often reminds us about the love that is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We must remember that we do not struggle alone. God does not disappoint us; His grace is sufficient.

On a personal note, the narrow gate (aka: our crown of thorns) has been our family’s expression of existence these past couple of years. Have we been tested? YES! Have our feet been put to a very real flame of fire? YES! Lung Cancer! 2 Strokes! No Income for over a year! Poverty! Hunger! Almost Homeless! Yeah I’d say we have been pushed close to the edge of the cliff. We never lost our faith, we struggled indeed and hung in there. It wasn’t easy by no means, but by God’s grace and mercy we made it through those most difficult times. We still have more to go. The smoke isn’t cleared yet. God knows our situation, but we fully and completely trust in Him.


Your brother in Christ Jesus 
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS