Andrew Greeley talks about a young man who
had been reported killed in action came home from a prisoner of war camp. His family and
his buddies and even his girlfriend had mourned him as dead and then more or less got over
their grief. His sudden reappearance was disconcerting,
to say the least. They had all loved him, but they had in effect written him out of
their lives. His girlfriend was engaged to marry someone else. Moreover, he didn’t
seem like the boy who had gone off to war. He was thin and haggard and haunted.
However, he was now mature, self-possessed, and, astonishingly, happy. He hadn’t smiled
much as a kid and rarely joked. Now he was witty and ebullient all the time. A quiet
kid had become an outgoing adult man. He didn’t fit in the patterns of relationships he had
left behind. Quite the contrary, his happiness and maturity were unsettling. He congratulated
his former girlfriend on her coming marriage and shook hands cordially with the fiancé.
There’s something wrong with him, everyone said. His family went to the priest. There
sure is, the priest said – he has risen from the dead and now acts like a saint.
This incident, in the beginning, may remind us of our own stories of rejection if we have
faced any. It may also prompt us to ask ourselves if he could have called before showing up.
Can we imagine why he responded the way he did. Let us try to find out as we look at
today’s readings Our first reading from the book of Isaiah
gives us very good news that God is going to gather us together. God gives us the action
plan of how He will do this. First He will give us a sign, then He will send us, survivors
who have followed the sign, to all the nations and we, whom the lord has sent, will bring
other people to him. This reading talks about a sign, a sign that we have to follow and
then point others to this sign. Our Gospel of today also has Jesus referring
to a Narrow Gate when he is ask the question if few will be saved. What is this Sign or
the Narrow Gate being referred to in the readings? The second reading tell us that there are
trials and difficulties that we face but these are moments that we can accept to discipline
ourselves. When trials and tribulations come our way we will need to exercise a choice
of a road we need to take. What is the sign or the Gate we will need to take. When Jesus
was asked to give a sign he told them that the sign was the son of man would be in the
belly of the earth for three days (Mt 12: 38-40) referring to his own Death and Resurrection
. The will be in life many roads and many gates.
There will be a Road or a Gate that will lead to escapism. We would like to face our problems
but we may take the rout of distracting our self and try to bury our problems. We will
find a shortcut or an easy way around and resort to unfair means. There are times we
may run away by putting out the life that God has given us.
The hope that God gives us is to follow the Prophets. There is a mention of Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob and the Prophets. Like them we have also been called. As they have struggled with
their faith so will we. We need to settle in Prayer which is a simple conscious dialogue
with God; secondly we will need to discern what comes from God and what is not. What
comes from God will give us an inner peace even though it is tough to follow (remember
Abraham was called to sacrifice Isaac) It will also mean wrestling with God the way
Jacob wrestled (Gen 32:24) in Prayer We will then receive the gift of seeing the
Gate the way the soldier found it and responded in a spiritually sound manner. He allowed
everyone to continue to live in peace and harmony whilst allowing himself to move forward.
We pray then that the lord always help us find the narrow gate in our lives and we be
blessed with the gift of peace a gift we always seek. So God bless you!