Sun., August 21, 2016
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough – Luke 13:24
Salvation comes from God, not from our own efforts. Salvation is a grace. A free gift. It is not about pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps.
So then what does this “striving” mean?
I think striving has more to do with our struggles to surrender to God…to love God and our neighbor…to make Jesus Christ the Lord of our everyday lives.
I think striving to enter the narrow gate is about being on this spiritual journey and joining with others in these struggles. It is not about winning any kind of contest or earning our way into heaven or being better than the next guy in the religion department.
It is about trying to love as God loves and then realizing we just cannot do it without Him.
In “The Story of a Soul”, St Therese writes about being too small to climb the rough stairway to heaven on her own. She realizes that she needs to surrender to Jesus whose arms will be the elevator that lifts her up.
John Shea writes “… what begins in striving is accomplished in surrender … divine love makes brothers and sisters of us all. When we know this, then God knows us and he opens wide the gate.” (The Spiritual Wisdom of the Gospels for Christian Preachers and Teachers for Year C)
Oh Lord, please help me to remember that I cannot accomplish anything on my own. Help me in my struggles to love and to surrender all to you. Amen.