In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus refers to a question that will be asked to some of us when we wish to enter the Kingdom of God.
If Jesus would ask you, “Where are you from?” what would you say?
Why the Gate Is Narrow
A clue; he isn’t interested in geography. He wants to know where our heart is. Is it in education, a career, sports, or maybe entertainment? There are many things that are important to us, and we can usually tell which are most important by the amount of time and energy we devote to them.
If you want to be a good student, you will study hard; there are no shortcuts. You can find ways to just do the minimum, but you will be cheating yourself. Later in life, you will regret that you didn’t take you studies more seriously. If you want to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, mechanic, or anything else, you won’t stop studying after graduation if you want to be successful. To be a good athlete, you will make sacrifices and eat well, get plenty of exercise, and learn what you must do to play your position.
There are many things that are important to us in this life, but most will not help us to answer the question that Jesus will ask; “Where are you from?”
The answer is: We are from God. Each of us was in the mind of God before the beginning of creation, and God has a great plan for each and every one of us. God must be part of the plan; the most important part of the plan. It is possible for us to discover what that plan is; we have been baptized and have become children of God and members of his Church! In baptism, we received the gifts of faith, hope, and charity, as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Maintaining Our Connection – Part of the plan for every one of us is that we keep the commandments God has given us. This means we need to pray every day, because prayer is our connection to God and does make a difference. Pray, not only for yourself, but for your family, friends, for everyone you know and even for people you don’t know. We pray because we believe what God has revealed to us, and we trust in his promises.
- Discovering & Sharing Our Identity – Another part of that plan for each of us is that we worship the Lord, receive the sacraments frequently, and learn more about who God is. Why? So that we may have a better understanding of who we are. We continue to read the Holy Scriptures & learn more about our faith so that we can share our faith with others! We never graduate from religious education. If you are interested in God, you will want to spend time with Him and have a desire to know Him and to be faithful to Him. In turn, God helps us to discover the great plan He has for us; a plan that will lead us to our greatest happiness and fulfillment in this life.
- Finding True Happiness – Again, there are many things that are important in this life, but we must be clear; there is nothing more important than our relationship with God. He created us for Himself so that we might discover true and lasting happiness in Him. When our relationship with God is what it should be, then the other things that are important to us will be what they should be, as well.
If we are intimately connected to God by our desire; by what we say and do, that relationship with God will help us discover the right path for us and help us to get connected to people who will enrich our lives.
‘The Narrow Gate’ is the way of faithfulness to the will of God—and there are no shortcuts along the way. When Jesus sees us coming through the Narrow Gate, he won’t have to ask where we are from. He will know us, and welcome us in!
Deacon Tom Fox, K.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.