First Reading: 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-35,36
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 48
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.”
During each summer most of us attend at least one high school graduation party. A time to celebrate the accomplishment of these students. It is the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. When at these parties I always like to ask what are their plans for the summer and the fall. Many will say that they are going off to college, others plan on working for a while first, and still many others are not even sure where they are going or what they are going to do. The reality is that most people do not go off to get a college degree. According to the census bureau, only about 35% of Americans have an Associates Degree or higher (only 27.4% have a Bachelors Degree or higher). There are many reasons why people do not go off to college and get a degree. Many times money presents a challenge, and many people are not sure of how to make college work with limited resources. Now I am not saying that a college education is the end all be all, but I do think that having an education to achieve your goals is important. The number one reason why I think that most of our population does not seek out higher education opportunities is because it is hard. It is a narrow gate that not many pass through. Most of the opportunities in this life that are really worthwhile are typically the hardest and the ones that are the least sought after.
The reality is that like our example of getting a college degree, our faith is a hard thing. In fact it is one of the hardest things, because it requires so much of us. It involves dying to ourselves, seeking God's will above our own, humility, willingness to be a servant, and love. These are not easy things, and they are certainly not things that the majority of people seek out. But what most people fail to keep in mind that living by following God's path, although it is a hard path to follow, is the path that leads to life. God wants us to live a full life here on earth and in heaven. We have a choice, we can choose our own way, which most people do choose their way which only leads to destruction; or we can choose God's way which leads to life.
The gate truly is narrow, and most people will not choose this hard and difficult way; but we must always remember that it is the path that is the most worth it.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you and thank you for all that you give and all that you do. Lord, thank you for our lives, help us to always choose your way instead of our own paths. Lord, we know that your way, although it is not easy, is filled with many blessings. We do not want to seek out our own life, but rather lose it so that we may gain life. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.