Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Narrow Gate

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few."

Today's readings has always been one of my favorites because I can picture myself in the midst of what Jesus says to us. I've always wanted to be different (and I don't mean strange because at times I have that hands down). I mean really different. The kind of different that blazes trails and finds the tiny ways in life that make others feel the life of Christ in our midst. But, no. I've always gone with the crowd. I've always jumped on the band wagon and ended up playing one of the loudest instruments.
Last summer my mother treated my two oldest daughters and myself to a trip to Spain and Portugal. It was truly incredible. It was also a great example of the narrow gate and the broad road. As we journeyed, we walked many wide open roads to food and shopping and massive Cathedrals and palaces and castles. But, we also happened on tiny, rocky pathways that led to unique shops and quaint cafes and incredible Chapels. There were many, many tiny alcoves that led to such places as St. Anthony's birthplace and the Miracle of the Eucharist in Santarem.
As we were walking down the cobbled, steep street in Toledo, we were shopping the many vendors who were set up outside between tourist sites. I looked to my left and spotted an old beggar sitting outside a slim entranceway with simply a leather flap covering the opening. I pulled back the flap to find a tiny room with about 10 pews and an altar with the Blessed Sacrament exposed. I entered and knelt. The tiniest opening, the smallest room and there in the midst of this busy tourist-packed city known for it's beautiful Synagogues was Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I prayed and I thanked and I spent a few moments I wandered back out through the small opening into the crowded street and found my companions several shops ahead.
Today, Jesus reminds me in the Gospel to enter the tiniest openings and to walk the narrow pathways and to find Him in most unexpected places and the most unlikely people. May we all find that constricted road that leads to life.
Thanks for the picture mom. http://www.jeandortch.com/

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