Monday, 26 August 2013

The Narrow Door

Yesterday's noon Mass was presided by Jesuit Father Mark Raper. One of the things he said that caught my attention was that the narrow door that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel is none other than Jesus Himself. Jesus is the door. The shape of the door is the shape of Jesus. To enter through the narrow door, we need to see this door and conform our lives to the shape of this door.

People often remark that when married couples spend many years living together, they begin to look like each other more and more... after 20, 40, even 60 years. I believe they mean more than a physical resemblance of their looks. Mannerisms, characters... will grow to be more similar, if they allow the other to shape their lives. Looking, somehow, leads one to mimic. Subconsciously. 

Everyday, if we look at Jesus, in the Gospels, in the faces of the poor and suffering, in the faces of the happy and simple, the humble and meek, if we look at Him on the crucifix... If we look at Jesus everyday, throughout each day, if we allow Him to shape our lives, if we allow ourselves to be conformed to Him, to change to be like Him, there is no doubt - absolutely none - that we will grow to become more and more like Him. In compassion, in love, in forgiveness, humility, generosity... We will grow and find life in Christ. And this is truly what it means to live, to choose life and not death. To live in goodness. To live a wholesome and fulfilling life. 

The challenge and the question is thus... To keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus means to give up looking at other more attractive, more pleasurable, more exciting things (or people). It is to say 'no' to distractions and be single-minded about the real focus of our lives. It is a decision we have to make and a decision we have to renew each day, each moment. Are we willing to draw back all our attention from all our distractions and channel them unto God? To shape our lives not to any other doors or objects or people but precisely to the shape of Jesus? 

Today, I hope you join me in praying and asking God for this grace - to be focused and single-minded about God. And in all our temptations, may we always turn to Mary and say, "Mary, help us. Let us never lose our God. Amen."

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