“He 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.” (Luke 13:22-30)
As I reflect upon this reading it begins with, “He passed through towns and villages teaching as He went.” As in this gospel, the Lord is passing through today by His word and in His Spirit through many hearts. St. Augustine taught that the Kingdom of God is within the interior of man; a city of God in the human heart.
Our Lady has recently spoken to the world on 8/2/10 calling her children to “… build the Kingdom of God within your hearts.” She is telling us that God can be found within the heart. Our Lady warned that satan is enticing human creatures with material things of the world, and lying and deceiving many saying that we need to build a kingdom for ourselves in the world.
What happens when we build up a kingdom in the world? We build up a false kingdom in our hearts. We become overly attached to our possessions, and/or our money and then it filters into fueling our pride in our hearts, because we are noticed as wealthy in the eyes of the world, or maybe in our own eyes.
We commit sin of coveting, clinging and desiring for more things, more money, increase in power and control. We want to increase our stature and standing among our brothers and sister forgetting the one Who has blessed us with these gifts. We never become satisfied with what we have, always longing for more. Slowly we become more empty inside, and our hearts become a playing field for the battlefield of mind where the enemy will creep in, sending the messages to us that we don’t need God. Look at all these things, these riches…I can have more…Or nobody is going to touch my stuff, I better store it, lock it, hide it so nobody steals it. We become very possessive over our stuff. Do we stop to think if it is something that we need?
Our world conditions us for the new. We are always seeking the newest in technology that is constantly evolving; or the newest car, a new home, etc. What ever this new may be for you.
But do we want what God has new for us today? God is conveying His Word to humanity today through ‘the woman’ that is His own Mother. This is something new for this time. Not new for the Church, as Our Lady has been sent to the world several times in past history to convey His message to the world. But today, God is doing something new for this generation in an act of tender mercy a time of grace.
The Word of God is coming to life through the very woman who birthed Him to life into the world over 2,000 years ago.
The Church has given Our Lady a title (one of 100’s of titles for her); the name ‘Gate of Heaven’. In the gospel today Jesus said to ‘enter through the narrow gate.’ We all know the path to heaven is not easy. It is a way of trials, tribulation and great struggles. It is a way that not everyone wants to walk to eagerly to. But let’s take this thought a little bit deeper.
Our Lady speaks very often in her messages to the world through Medjugorje, about conversion. She said, “now is the time of great graces…now is the time of conversion…you the faithful ones…my children…go deeper into your conversion…do not wait…it will be too late for the unbelievers…” To late for what? We have to ask this question, for what?
Jesus gave the answer in the gospel today. He said, “enter through the narrow gate, many I tell you will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”
Will you be strong enough to face God with sin and shame on your conscience? No! You will not. The book of Revelation said that ‘nothing unclean will enter.’ You must be made pure to enter the Kingdom of God. You will hide in your shame in the bushes just like Adam and Eve when they were found with sin. God could not see them in their holy state. Death covered them. Your shame and nakedness will not let you see truth. Your shame and your sin will not let you pursue God and carry your cross for your redemption. Your sin will plunge you deep into darkness and further into sin. Man cannot save Himself. Man needs a savior and the grace of God to be saved.
Jesus said further, as though He is repeating what happened in the days of Noah, that there is going to come a time when the doors of the Kingdom (the Ark) of salvation will be closed. You are going to want to be let in those doors when the flood comes through your trials, in the final days of your life, or when God comes in his glory at the end of time.
He is going to say to you, I do not know you. You are a stranger to me. We did not have a ‘relationship!’
We are called to relationship with the Lord my people. When we are in relationship with Him, the Spirit of Jesus passes through us and leads us to Jerusalem, to take us to the place where in our hearts we will be called to die to our self and to our sin.
We the Church are called ‘the bride of Christ.’ The Bridegroom wants to be more intimate with His bride. He wants her to come into deeper union with Him. That means to go deeper into our hearts where He is waiting for us.
Can we see now why Our Lady would be calling her children who is the Mother of the Church (the Mother of the Bride); and the Mother of her Son to grow deeper in love with her Son. She often has reminded the Bride saying “my Son died out of love for you.” He gave His life. Can we just take this lightly? I should say not, it is the price of redemption.
Now today, the Bridegroom with His Mother is inviting us to climb into the spiritual marriage bed with them who are both united in suffering hearts, that is on the cross and stay there with Him. We are called to press into the cross where ever our cross may be today. Go deeper into the wounds and identify where the sin is from the wound in your heart, so that Jesus can redeem it, heal it and wash away the sin by His precious blood.
The less sin there is in the body and soul, the more the Kingdom of God will reign in your hearts.
It is time Church to go the distance! Work out for the big game to come. Get that soul in shape and practice your faith, exercise it, live it to be ready to join the champions in Heaven who led the way for us. Remember Jesus said, ‘you do not know the day or hour when the Son of man will come…” Will he find you ready? Ave Maria!
“Dear children, today I rejoice with the little Jesus and I desire that Jesus’ joy may enter into every heart. Little children, with the message I give you a blessing with my Son Jesus, so that in every heart peace may reign. I love you little children, and I invite all of you to come closer to me by means of prayer. You talk and talk but do not pray. Therefore, little children, decide for prayer. Only in this way will you be happy and God will give you what you seek from Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (Queen of Peace 12/25/93)