Today’s Gospel has Jesus telling us to “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” He also warns that many will try and fail.
You have to ask, “What will make the difference between entering and not entering?”
There is a passage in the book of Wisdom that, to paraphrase, says, “The desire for Wisdom leads one into the Kingdom.” The desire for Wisdom….. As we know, wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who will lead us through that narrow gate. It is the Holy Spirit who softens our hearts and makes us flexible enough to go through a narrow gate. It is the Holy Spirit who, with inexpressible groaning, helps us make that passage.
There are two traps into which many of us fall. Trap number one: thinking, “If I only do one more thing to please God” or “If only I pray more perfectly” or “If only I try harder and be more perfect then I will make it.” Trap number two: thinking, “It’s all up to God anyway, so I will carry on like I am and leave it up to him. He will work his miracle in me when he wants. I’ll just wait and see.”
Anyone who has ever been caught up in the cycle of habitual sin, or maybe lost in an addiction, knows full well that they cannot recover by means of their own efforts alone; they need God’s help. They also know they have to do their part, one day at a time, to stay in recovery. Recovery from sin or from addiction is entering through the narrow gate.
May everyone of us, each day, either literally or figuratively, prostrate ourselves before the feet of the Lord and pray, “Holy Spirit, I am here this day. I will do whatever you set before me, but I need you help to bring it to completion. I am depending on you to strengthen and enlighten me this day.”
Strive, but strive with the Holy Spirit……