The WORD in Other Words by Fr Glenn Paul Gomez SVD (Philippines)
21st Sunday Ordinary Time, Is 66:18-21, Heb 12:5-7, 11-13, Lk 13:22-30
Let me share with you my own experience of “narrow gate” and eternal life (salvation).
In today‘s Gospel, someone asked Jesus: “Will only a few people be saved?” Jesus did not categorically answer that question, be it a few or many. The more important question is: Am I one of them? Entering heaven is likened to entering a narrow gate.
Through God‘s grace and Creative Travel House, I have visited the Holy Land many times. In Jerusalem, there is a large gate door that is closed at night, but there is a little door called the Eye of the Needle Gate that remains open. This little door was designed for security reasons — so that enemies could not simply ride on their camels into the city and attack. For a man and his camel to enter the Eve of the Needle Gate, he would have to unload his camel of all that it is carrying and then carefully lead his camel through this small gate. It would be a slow and quite a difficult task. It is truly difficult for a camel to get through that door but not impossible.
As a twelve-year-old altar boy, I enjoyed serving in the celebration of the Holy Masses and baptisms in our parish in San Jose, Occ. Mindoro. When I decided to enter Christ the King Mission Seminary (CKMS) in Quezon City as a third year high school student, the idea of being saved and attaining eternal life was one of the strongest reasons why I wanted to become a religious-missionary priest.
Forty-two years have passed since I entered CKMS. Come December, our SVD Handog Ordination Class 1988 will celebrate its 30th Anniversary. I have traversed through many “narrow gates” (yearly evaluation, comprehensive examinations, assignments, trials, failures, etc.) but my fundamental option to follow Jesus and share His Good News to gain eternal life is still my driving force.
Yes, entering the narrow gate is difficult but it is possible. It all depends on us if we are willing to make sacrifices and unload unnecessary burdens to be able to enter the gate with ease and peace.