“Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (v. 24).
With these words, Jesus makes it clear that it is not a matter of numbers, there is no “limited number” in Paradise! Rather, it is a case of taking the right way from now, and this right way is for everyone, but it is narrow. This is the problem. Jesus does not want to give us false hopes by saying: “Yes, do not worry, it is easy, there is a beautiful highway with a large gate at the end ….”. He does not say this. He tells us things as they truly are: the doorway is narrow. In what sense? In the sense that, in order to save oneself, one has to love God and neighbour, and this is uncomfortable! It is a “narrow doorway” because it is demanding. Love is always demanding. It requires commitment, indeed, “effort”, that is, a determined and persevering willingness to live according to the Gospel. Saint Paul calls it “the good fight of the faith” (1 Tim 6:12). It takes a daily, all-day effort to love God and neighbour.
May the Virgin Mary help us in this. She went through the narrow door that is Jesus. She welcomed him with all her heart and she followed him every day of her life, even when she did not understand, even when a sword pierced her soul. This is why we invoke her as “Mary Gate of Heaven”, a gate that traces the form of Jesus precisely: the door to God’s heart, a demanding heart, but one that is open to us all”
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Aug 25th, 2019
Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.