October 29, 2008
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 13: 22-30
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then in reply he will say to you, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know that I seek salvation. You also know how weak I am. Although I see the narrow door that you are inviting me to enter through, I sometimes hesitate. Please help me always to respond to your grace in my life so that I may be able to share the happiness of eternity with you. Please grant me in my prayer a deep knowledge of you so that I may be able to love you with all of my heart, all of my soul, and all of my strength.
Petition: Lord Jesus, may I seek you above all else so that I may one day be with you forever in the happiness of heaven.
1. Exactly How Narrow Is That Door Again?
We all seek spiritual progress and desire to grow closer to Christ each day. Yet it seems we often fail not only to do this, but even to keep the simple resolutions we have made for the day. Where is the gap that needs to be filled? We must always beware of the grace that passes and never returns. Christ gives us all that we need to walk the straight and narrow path. Yet sometimes, because we are not in tune with him, we let his grace slip right past us, and we miss the directions to enter the narrow door that leads to his heart.
2. To Know Is Not to Experience
“We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” How can Christ say that he does not know who we are? Okay, we do attend Mass at least weekly and receive him in the Eucharist, but does this mean that we necessarily have gotten to know Christ as a person and as a friend? We must be wary of the person who speaks a lot about Christ yet rarely speaks with him. Simply knowing what the Church teaches and reciting it by heart does not mean that his knowledge has entered our hearts and our wills. To know Christ does not by necessity mean that we have experienced him. Do I know Christ as well as I know myself? Do I know Christ as well as I know my friends? What kind of knowledge of Christ do I have?
3. A Banquet Worth Traveling For
“Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God.” It is necessary to struggle to get into a banquet which can be entered only through a narrow door. Christ is telling us that we must always strive for heaven. When one day we reach heaven after having struggled to be faithful to all that Christ has asked of us during this life, we will say to ourselves, “Here at last is the thing I was made for.”
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am willing to do anything to reach heaven and to help bring others there with me. Please grant me the grace to persevere my entire life in this desire – not for my own glory, but for yours. Even though I might often be last in the eyes of the world, may I always strive to be first in your sight and give the greatest importance to what matters in your eyes.
Resolution: To see how well I know Christ in my life, I will take one concrete action today which will bring me to a greater knowledge and love of him.
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