Readings for Monday April 26, 2010
First Reading: Acts 11:1-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 42
Gospel: John 10:1-10
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:7-10)
While I have never done this, I know many people who have snuck into movie theaters. It is my understanding that there are a variety of methods. One way is to go into the exit door while people are coming out. Another is to simply go from the theater you were in to another movie. I have also heard the silly idea of walking backwards towards the theater while people are leaving. Regardless of which way someone sneaks into a theater, it is not right or acceptable. Now, I can understand wanting to, especially with the prices they are charging nowadays, but robbing one place just because it feels like they are robbing you does not make it right. There is only one right way to enter a movie theater, and that is by paying the price and entering into the front.
And so it is like heaven, we must realize that there is only one right way of entering into heaven, and that is through Jesus. Our Lord tells us today that He is the gate, and that whoever enters through Him will be saved. He came so that we might have abundant life, but that does not mean that we gain it on our terms, we gain it on His. Like we said about the movie theater, we can only get admission by paying the price, after we have paid the price then we can enter in the right way. The price that we pay to gain eternal life, is by losing our life to Him now. By being willing to follow His will instead of our own, by picking up our cross daily and following Him, by abandoning sin and giving in to virtue, by making Christ the center of our lives ... that is the price that must be paid in order to get into heaven. And while it is a high price, it is no match for the reward.
Remember, there is only one way, one gate to heaven; and that is Jesus. May we all be given to courage to follow the good shepherd.
Today, reflect on these words by Christ: "Then he said to all, 'If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." (Lk 9:23-24)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for this day. Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy, and for giving us a way to eternal life. Jesus, help us to always follow you who are the gate to heaven. Give us the courage and perseverance needed to make it through this life, so that one day we may be in heaven with you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.