The Narrow Gate
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
Of The Twelfth Week In Ordinary Time
The Narrow Door in the time of Jesus was a small narrow door next to the main door of a city. The main door was shut at sundown, to be only opened at sunrise. This was so that the city could be protected from robbers, attackers etc. The soldiers could use the small door and it was easy to defend the small door, because it was wide enough for one person to enter or exit only. Merchants were reluctant to use it, for it meant that they had to leave their goods outside.
Even as we go through life, we pick up many things… We are always carrying these around with us… but to be able to follow Jesus completely, we need to discard practically everything; especially mentally. Basically re-learn everything (John 3). Pride, self-righteousness, self-exaltation are some of the things that will not help us to grow into Jesus the real vine. And therefore we can call the Narrow Door, a Yard Stick, that helps us by showing that everything that hinders us from entering God’s Presence is extra baggage which will pull us down.
For Matthew; the world thinks one way and the way of life of the Kingdom of God is upside down, according to the world view. Therefore he presents to us the Narrow Door as the one that leads us to life, while the other to our destruction. Similarly, he tells us, we need to be prudent in our proclamation and sharing of our faith with others. Some are prime and ready to listen to God’s Message through us, while others like the four soils need time, patience and prayers, so that they may be ready to receive God’s truth in their lives. And the best yardstick to know how to relate to people is to put ourselves in their shoes, assess the right thing required to be done at this moment in time, and do the needful.