(Matthew 7:6 & 12-14)
Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to enter by the narrow gate of selflessness and walk the narrow
Road that leads to life.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus warning his disciples about the conditions for eternal life.)
Matthew writes for his Church members who have chosen the Kingdom. They want eternal life, but He warns them that the gate is narrow. Many go through a wide gate that does not lead them into the Kingdom.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before swine.
They will trample them underfoot, at best, or even tear you to shreds. Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and many enter. How narrow is the gate that leads to life and how constricted is the road and how few find it.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Dogs and swine represent those who have no interest in the holy pearls of the gospel. The disciples, although preaching to all, must not expose the gospel to ridicule.
- To enter by the narrow gate is to accept the discipline needed to keep the commandments.
- Some disciples want to be lax, refusing to accept restrictions on their freedom.
- They are foolish. They are entering a wide gate that leads to destruction of their lives.
- Not only is the beginning gate narrow, but the whole road is constricted.
- Living by the gospel doesn’t mean just being good at the beginning (to get through the narrow gate is not enough.) The disciple must persevere on the narrow road.
- This gate and road are not hard to find. People do not searching because they do not want to find.
- All these warnings are wake-up calls!
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, your words are pearls that I will cherish.
- Do not let me toss away your gospel.
- O Jesus, I will enter by your narrow gate.
- Show me the narrow road and I will walk with you.
- Close my eyes to the wide paths of death and destruction.
- I want your eternal life, Jesus. No matter what the cost.
- How I love your narrow gate which leads to life.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will accept the restrictions imposed by God’s love.
- I will seek eternal life with all my heart, not fearing the narrow way.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
How narrow is the gate that leads to life.