I went to the 5pm mass today downtown at St. Peter’s. The Gospel for today was Luke 13:22-30 discussing the need to strive towards the “narrow gate.” And the likelihood that most who strive towards the narrow gate will fail. A difficult Gospel to preach on for sure as the priest acknowledged at the start of his homily. The homily was a little long, the voice a little monotonous, the Church a little warm, but the questions asked were great: Do we make the narrow way narrow? Is the way actually quite wide, and we make it narrow by adding to our own bulk?
We are called by Jesus to drop what we are doing and follow him. Just as Simon was called to be a fisher of men (and thus in doing so, not a fisher of fish), we are called to follow Christ in such a way that we are the fishers of men. Luke 5:11, the tail end of the Call of the First Disciples, says “And when they had brought their boats to land, the left everything and followed him. ” The priest today highlighted the need for us to seek the narrow way by shedding our outer layers. Only when we have let go of our fears, and our wants, and our insecurities and we truly be followers of Christ, can we truly find this narrow way that Christ speaks of.
In making his point the priest referenced a Charlie Brown cartoon (which sadly my quick google searches could not find) in which Charlie is excited for to play in the snow. But before he goes out into the weather he bundles up. Charlie being Charlie over prepares for the snow and cannot fit through the door frame due to the excessive amounts of clothing he is wearing. This rightly frustrates Charlie’s attempts at playing in the snow.
Like Charlie, we must in seeking the narrow way shed some (if not all) outer layers down to the individual we were when we were created in God’s image.
And to go along with this…Check out “Lead me Lord” on the right hand side of LAG’s Facebook page…”Lead me Lord by the Light of Truth to seek and find the narrow way…”