The Narrow Door of Sharing, Loving, Compassion
There is a humour about a man who died and went to hell. To his surprise he saw his parish priest there. “Father, I did not expect you here”, he said. The priest shushed him, “the bishop is below us. Don’t let him hear you”. This cruel joke contains some biblical truth.
When asked “Lord is it true that only a few will be saved?” (Luke 13:23), Jesus said “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). It made the early Christians, who were a mix of people from different cultures and places, reflect on the Jewish heritage of the Church. Majority of the Jews in Jerusalem were observant of their temple practices and laws of ritual purity. Therefore, they would have considered themselves as already in the Kingdom of God. Yet not a lot of the Jews were found among the early Church communities. Where did they go wrong? The answer is that they were not generous in living out God’s goodness. While observing all the rituals of the religion to the detail, they were focussed on themselves and not concerned about others. They were not generous with the spirit of love and compassion. They did not try hard enough to enter the Kingdom of God. Mind you, this warning was not just for the Jews, but for all of us.
If any member of the Church think that going through all the motions of the sacraments and Sunday obligation will assure you a place in the Kingdom of God, think again. You might tell the Lord, “We ate and drank your company and you taught in our streets”, meaning doing Churchy things; yet if you are not generous with the Spirit of God, which is love and compassion, you too could be counted to be the last by God. The Lord who sees the inner dealings of the heart will probe beyond your ritual observations in judging your religious integrity. Therefore, let us strive hard to enter through the narrow door of sharing, loving, and compassion.
What is your faith commitment? Can you say that you have chosen Jesus Christ above all other considerations?