Wednesday of the ThirtiethWeek in Ordinary Time
The two doors
He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ Lk 13,22-27
The plan of salvation which God has designed and implemented is carried on through us, not above us, while respecting the freedom which from the beginning has been given to the man. This concept, sometimes explicitly and some other times in filigree, is present in all the Holy Scriptures. In the book of the Deuteronomy the Lord had told the people of Israel: “Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey to the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in this way, and keeping his commandments, statuses and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the Lord, your God, will bless in the land you are entering to occupy” (Dt 30.15 -16). Today, the Lord tells us: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will be not strong enough”. As we already had the opportunity to observe in a previous meditation, you can enter more easily through the wide door, which is that of the disengagement, of the selfishness and of the corrosive criticism, but then you are in a cramped and stuffy context. You can enter with difficulty in the narrow gate, because we have to do violence to our nature which, because of the sin, is not prone to the generosity, to the sacrifice for the neighbor and to benevolent opinions, but once inside we are in the open spaces of God’s love. There are also other reasons which make for us difficult to enter the narrow gate: we have too much luggage, from which we do not want to separate. We are fond of the things, of our opinions and prejudices, and all this background causes also slowness for our spiritual journey, or even it blocks it. From the time of the school remembrances the term which the Romans used to indicate sick luggage comes back to my memory: impedimenta! Then we should have to take the small and precious luggage of faith, hope and charity. So, at the end of our walk, we will not run the risk of finding the door neither narrow nor closed or to hear this answer to our knock: “I do not know where (you) are from”.