June 26, 2018- Tuesday in 12th Week of Ordinary Time
Saint for the day: Blessed Raymond Lull (c. 1235 – June 28, 1315)
2 Kings 19:9 …. ….36 – Psalm 48 – Matthew 7:6, 12-14
It’s easy for us to dismiss these OT stories that we’ve been hearing in these days with a, “that was then. This is now” attitude. But doing this only leaves us poorer and without a link to the Gospel, the real foundation of our lives. Today, Jesus tells His disciples, “Enter by the narrow gate. The way to perdition is an easy road but one that leads nowhere.”
Sometimes the OT accounts of the history of Israel’s struggle to follow the One God are easy to dismiss with their outlandish numbers of those who were killed or those who were saved. But try not to go down that road. The point of these stories is to show how much God wants to bring us into the “promised land.” Today’s Gospel reminds us that the only way “in” is through that narrow gate. When Jesus tells his disciples this I think He is reminding them of the need of a personal relationship with Him and with God. Remember Jesus’ “Priestly Prayer” that we heard all throughout the Easter time: “Father, that they might be one as you and I are one.” We can’t just follow the crowd and go with the flow.
This past weekend San Francisco had their “Gay Pride Parade” with countless thousands of people “getting on the bandwagon.” The evening news devoted the entire program to covering this event. It was interesting to me to see all the “cooperate sponsorship” that got their name out there for all to see and I couldn’t help but thinking how easy it was to “go with the flow.”
But come in and sup with you”
Until we make this first move to that personal relationship with Jesus we will always be outside begging, “Didn’t I join all the right groups? Didn’t I seek equal rights for this group or that?”
And Jesus will reply: “I do not know you” or equally important “You do not know ME!”
That’s why those huge “stadium revivals” that get the people down on the field with thousands of others to have them “make a decision for Christ” often leave people just standing there with a huge crowd and often miss the next step of getting folks into that one-on-one relationship with Jesus.
Remember Zacheses who was there with the crowd watching Jesus pass by from his treetop vantage point. He is called by name and has to break from the throng to sup with Jesus. And Jesus tells him, “This day, salvation has come to this house” because he opened his door and let Jesus into his life.
Bottom line: crowds are nice. But all they give us is that “rush” that can fool us into thinking that’s all that’s needed for salvation. But push-to-shove many of those will be standing outside the door knocking, “Lord, Lord…” and we know what Jesus answer is to that. “Enter through the narrow gate!” Amen!