“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
What is the “narrow gate”?
According to this article, in Jesus’ time the city gates were large and multi-layered. There were the wide gates that allowed the caravans and crowds to enter. Because it’s full of people coming inside, it was easy for a thief or criminal to hide in the crowd and get in. Now inside the gate or inset into the wide gate was a narrow gate that allowed only 1-2 people or a donkey to pass through. Typically, this gate is guarded.
No one could pass through the narrow gate anonymously.
It’s the same thing in airports. You go through security check. Your visa or passport gets visually inspected for authenticity. Then you line up for inspection. You remove your shoes, belt and watch…place your bags on the conveyor belt for x-ray…then walk through the narrow scanner. If it beeps, you either have to pass through it again or you get a pat down. This is to ensure there is no bomb being carried by a terrorist.
The narrow gate is a metaphor for entering the Kingdom of God without anonymity. Just as thieves, criminals or terrorists cannot go through the narrow gate or security check, only good and holy people can eventually go to heaven.
And this brings us to the next question which is …
What is your narrow gate?
What is the barrier that is preventing you from entering heaven? What keeps you from being holy?
Do you have Anger? Unforgiveness? Laziness?
Galatians 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
What can we do about these things?
The 2 Pillars
When I went through another Life in the Spirit Seminar this past summer, the guest speaker advocated for having a “Prayer Life.” She advised to pray both in the morning and in the evening. She said these are your “2 Pillars.”
I’ve been struggling with prayer time for the past 20 years. It has its ups and downs. Recently, it’s been a little better. I wake up earlier in order to go through the prayers in the Magnificat. In the evening, I either do the Magnificat again or my husband and I pray one “Our Father”.
It’s so easy to “forget” God’s presence as we go on through the day. It’s easy to lose focus. I get busy…upset…frustrated…tired… It’s a roller coaster every day.
I fall down every now and then. I’m not a ‘spring chicken’ anymore. I get tired more easily. Having kids at an older age is a challenge for my body. On 2 occasions strangers thought my children were my grandkids. (Ouch.)
When I’m tired, I can get crabby. When I’m tired, sometimes I don’t pray. And no amount of chocolate or coffee could fix it.
Having a prayer life helps to lift me up when I fall down. So I try my best to keep on praying…
Mother Theresa’s Prayer Time
Mother Theresa was once asked what her prayer time was like…
The interviewer asked, “When you pray, what do you say to God?”
Mother Teresa replied, “I don’t talk, I simply listen.”
Believing he understood what she had just said, the interviewer next asked, “Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?”
Mother Teresa replied, “He also doesn’t talk. He also simply listens.” (Reference: Patheos)
I heard this story from the Catholic Charismatic Conference I recently attended. The speaker went on further to say …
“A bad 5 minutes of prayer time is better than no prayer time.” – Tom Mangan
It’s not easy to go through the narrow gate. It a moment to moment decision to make the right choice every day. It’s a moment to moment refocusing of the heart to do what is good and charitable towards others.
And I believe the key to enter the narrow gate is prayer.
And we don’t have to say fancy prayers or words. Sometimes, we just have to listen … just like what Mother Theresa did.
May you find peace, reassurance, consolation and strength in your prayer time with God.
And when the time comes someday, may we see each other on the other side of the gate. God bless.
P.S. If you’re in the Twin Cities area, I invite you to the Risen Savior Missions Gala Dinner on this poster above. If you can’t come, you can give a donation by going to www.risensaviormissions.org. I also wrote an article about it here. <==
Thank you very much for spreading the word!