Entering through many narrow gates

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD (CKMS, QC)

Wednesday 30th Week in Ordinary Time

Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Jerusalem. Jaffa Gate. Needle’s eye. Matt. 19:24

In today’s Gospel, someone asked Jesus: “Will only a few people be saved?” Jesus did not categorically answer that question. The more important question is: Am I one of them? Entering heaven is likened to entering a narrow gate.

By God’s grace, I have visited the Holy Land many times. In Jerusalem, there is a larger gate door that is closed at night, but there is a little door called the Eye of the Needle Gate that is always open. For a man and his camel to enter the Eye of the Needle Gate, he would have to unload his camel of all that it is carrying and carefully lead this through the small gate. A slow and quite arduous 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 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 H. S. student, the idea of being saved and living an eternal life was a strong reason for my desire to become a religious-missionarypriest.

Forty-two years have passed since I entered CKMS. I have entered many “narrow gates” (yearly evaluation, comprehensive examinations, assignments, trials, failures, etc.). However, 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 andunload the unnecessary burden so that we can enter the gate with ease and peace, and keep our focus on eternal life.

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