31 October 2018; Trying to the Enter through the Narrow Gate

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Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1Eph 6:1-9; Gospel Lk 13: 22-30

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate”

Jesus today presents a very important aspect of human salvation: human co-operation to God’s grace. The different versions of the Bible puts it in different terms: strive to, try to etc.. But all the translations point to this basic aspect of human action with God. St. Augustine says that the ‘God who created you without you will not save you without you.’ Salvation is always a grace of God and it is open to all but each one of us should appropriate it for ourselves through our ‘Yes’ to the Lord. This ‘Yes’ to the Lord should be manifested in our actions. Indian spirituality speaks of two ways of devotion: Markada marga and Margara marga. Markada marga is the way of the monkey, where the baby monkey clings on to the mother. It is true that protection, warmth and security is given by the mother, but one has to cling on to the mother. There is much personal responsibility involved here. The second one is Margara marga, i.e., the way of the cat where the mother cat carries the baby from one place to the other. I think Christian spirituality is mostly one of the monkey way than the cat way. From the Old Covenant time onwards God expects human involvement and co-operation. As it is popularly said, when God shuts one door, the other door is opened behind you; but you have to turn around and see it. The words in the book of Revelation also points to the same: ‘See I am standing at the door of your heart and knocking! If only you would open the door and let me in.’

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