Readings for Tuesday June 23, 2009
First Reading: Genesis 13:2,5-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15
Gospel: Matthew 7:6,12-14
"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." (Matthew 7:13-14)
Playing football taught me many valuable life lessons, and I certainly do remember a very important lesson that I learned during our two-a-day practices at the beginning of every season. You see, "two-a-days" were called such because we had two practices in one day; and to top it off it was usually in the month of August when it always seemed to be particularly hot and humid. These practices were always the hardest, our coaches really wanted us to prepare both physically and mentally for the upcoming season. I'll never forget that during this time, our coaches always reminded us of one thing, they always said, "If this were easy, then everybody would do it!" Each time I heard that, it really put things in perspective for me, I came to learn that this was not supposed to be easy and that it would require hard work and dedication. I also came to understand that hard work and dedication tend to pay off at the end. By persevering through the hard things, we are made stronger and ready to face adversity when it hits. Then, after all of the hard work, the sweat, the sacrifice, we can go on to receive a great victory.
Today, Jesus tells us to enter through the narrow gate. This gate is narrow and hard to get through, it is much different from the wide gate that many enter through. Entering through the narrow gate is difficult, perhaps even uncomfortable most the time. Entering into the narrow gate means following Christ, not just sometimes or part way, but completely. It means sacrificing to Him, and to surrender your life to Him. While to most of us, this seems like an impossible task, but we know that it certainly is not impossible. If we ever need reassurance and want to hear of stories of those who have entered through the narrow gate, all we must do is look to the saints. Their stories of struggles and perseverance can certainly provide us with the inspiration and motivation that we need to go towards this narrow gate.
As Jesus tells us, the narrow gate is not easy, and those who find it are few; but it is this gate that leads to life. We must remember that it will be hard, and it will take much sacrifice and dedication, and we must also remember that if it were easy, then everybody would do it.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord Jesus, you are our life and our salvation, help us to follow you no matter where it leads. We trust in you God, and in your plan for us. Help us to surrender the things of this world, so that we might enter the narrow gate to which we are called. Lord, we pray for all those who are lost, that they might find their way through you. We also pray for all of our priests, may they be strengthened for their ministries. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.