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Strive to Enter the Narrow Door


STRIVE TO ENTER THE NARROW DOOR (Lk 13:24)

“Strive” denotes maximum effort. We can compare it to an athlete who does strenuous preparations to win the contest. Saint Paul clarified this, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor 9:25). Again, he says: “Fight the good fight for the true faith” (1 Tim 6:12a).

The ones who would attain salvation are those who would strive to enter through the narrow door. There would be many who would be looking for the wide and easy (struggle free) door. Some others might try to enter through the narrow entrance but might not be persistent enough. During the public ministry of Jesus, many who followed him left him because his teachings were too difficult for them to comprehend or accept, especially his teaching on the Holy Eucharist (Jn 6:66). Later in the early church, many who had joined the church left it because of severe persecution from the Jews and Romans. Their family and the community may have pressured them to abandon their faith.

Another cause for some people to ‘miss the bus’ might be a mistaken belief on their part that they have ‘ample time.’ God can shut the door of life unexpectedly. Hence, we should not procrastinate on our conversion or reconciliation with others. A Christian should have constant dedication and commitment to the church and the people. We see such a lifestyle in the lives of many saints like Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Teresa of Kolkata and Father Damien of Molokai.

Jesus is the only way to the Father (Jn 14:6) and he is the gate of the sheep (Jn 10:7). He reentered heaven through the narrow gate. He told his disciples, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24). Jesus came not to eliminate our crosses but to help us carry our life burdens. Only through him can we enter the lost Paradise. Any attempt to reach God without Christ would be a failure.

 


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