Jesus warns of great difficulty of being received into Heaven through the Narrow Door. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can always strive to enter through the Narrow Gate and by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can keep a mindset of continual spiritual conversion in Christ.
21st Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 13:22-30; 30th Week in Ordinary time – Wednesday – Lk 13:22-30
On His way towards Jerusalem and His Passion, after offering several parables on the Kingdom of God which reveal that God’s building of His Kingdom irresistibly proceeds despite being often hidden from men’s perception, Jesus responds directly to a man’s question who asks, “if many will be saved, or only a few.” Asked a direct question, Jesus gives a frank and direct response in His parable of The Narrow Door (called The Narrow Gate in the Gospel of Matthew). Jesus urges men to rigorously practice their faith to give themselves the best chance to be saved (to enter in The Narrow Door) and emphatically reveals (“I tell you”) that many who were unrepentant in life and want to enter Heaven upon death, will not be allowed to enter.
Jesus (the householder) after His Resurrection (has risen up) will close Heaven (shut the door). Despite the pleading of men who were sinful and unrepentant (we ate and drank with you), Jesus (the householder) will refuse to accept them (I do not know where you come from; depart from Me), calling them evil doers (workers of iniquity) and casting them into Hell (weeping and gnashing of teeth).
In a shocking revelation, Jesus confirms that Old Testament patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and even many Gentiles from around the world (east, west, north and south) will be accepted into the great feast of Heaven (at table), but that many, including unrighteous men who presumed God’s favor, even some of those among God’s chosen Jewish people, will not be allowed into Heaven, and spend eternity in Hell, permanently separated from God.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be concerned and motivated by both fear and joy, at the warnings of Jesus, the Divine Prophet, about the challenges of reaching Heaven: Jesus, with Divine Knowledge, confirms there are exceptionally high standards of holiness to enter Heaven (Narrow Door); the perfection of Diligence (a part of Justice), Jesus reveals the pursuit of Heaven requires great effort (striving, strength); Divine Judge, Jesus, tough and uncompromising about repentance and holiness, reveals that He will allow few to enter Heaven, and that many unrepentant sinners will be rejected, suffering the torments of Hell.
Strive to enter the Narrow Gate
Realize: Many men do not worry about sin or holiness, either not caring or believing the lie that everybody goes to Heaven. Jesus makes it absolutely clear that few enter through the Narrow Gate (to Heaven) and most go through the Wide Gate to destruction (Hell).
Believe: Reflect upon the Two Ways and Hell (CCC 1696, 1033-1037).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I courageously face the choices I must make, I am inspired by You to choose to pursue Heaven, and seek Your constant help to do God’s Holy Will.
Have a mindset of continual conversion
Realize: The majority of Catholic men are casual in their faith, failing to keep even the basic Precepts of the Church, and almost all men go through periods of being lukewarm where they stray from God and wander into sin; given Satan’s relentless attacks on men, every Catholic man needs to have a mindset of continual repentance and conversion.
Believe: Reflect upon Concupiscence (CCC 1264, 1426, 2515) and the need for continual Conversion and Penance (CCC 1427-1433).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I have the self-control to continually repent, do penance for my sins, and zealously persevere to seek holiness and draw near to You; Father, allow me to receive the blessing of the Sacrament of Penance.