STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
I’ve got to be honest- this reading always makes me a bit scared at first. Like what if I’m that person that attempted to enter but wasn’t strong enough? What if even though I went to Mass like I was supposed to- ate and drank the Body and Blood- and learned from the Church’s teachings, God still says to me “I do not know where you are from; depart from me, you evildoer!” And then I’ll wail and grind my teeth.
But come on, right? Wasn’t Jesus just trying out the scare tactic to get people to be nicer and stuff?! Well. Do you believe that Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory exist? Me too. Jesus came to Earth to save our souls, yes, but we still have a responsibility to get our act together.
I’ve heard many a times that basically the more you know, the more responsibility you have. If you know Jesus pretty well and you do all the good little Catholic things you do, you already are holding a lot of responsibility! You know what sins are, you know how important prayer is, and you know about the need for evangelization- you can’t even pretend like you don’t.
If you don’t strive to live out what it means to be Catholic- if I don’t strive to live out what it means to be Catholic- why should we not expect to wail and grind our teeth? It’s not enough to keep the pew warm at church. [Insert whatever parable you want right here] you’ve got to strive to live that out!
Don’t you dare just gloss over this Carpe Verbum again and think, “Yeah, yeah, I know all of this” and leave it at that. Go back and read the Gospel again and take it personally. Just because we are “Catholic” does NOT make us entitled to Heaven. Sorry about the influence that our mainstream society has about using less effort and expecting more gratification, but that’s not right. Wouldn’t you agree that Heaven is worth the most amount of effort you could possibly ever give?
I cannot think of anything better than spending eternity reclining at the table in the kingdom of God. The average life expectancy for Americans is about 79 years. Do the math… regardless of if you live well longer or shorter than that average, that’s nothing compared to eternity.
PLEASE. Let your life be radical for Christ TODAY. You don’t know when your time will come, so do what you need to do to figure out how to enter through the narrow gate.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
Am I living my life so as to enter through the narrow gate?
What can I do today to live radically for Christ?
How can I help others strive to enter through the narrow gate?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
Lord, teach me how to enter through the narrow gate.
Lord, I choose eternity with You.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Be intentional. Do everything you do today as if tomorrow the door will be locked and no one else may enter through the narrow gate.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco.