Gospel Reflections

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 13:22-30

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Janelle Sevier

Published: August 25, 2019

 Many years ago, while spending some months in Guatemala, I had the graced experience of meeting each day to reflect on the Gospel with three young women. These teenagers had come down from the mountains in order to live and study in the city of Esquipulas.   Generous of heart and striving for holiness, as well as for a way to find a better life, these teenagers and I focused on this gospel for our sharing one summer day.

I continue to be touched by what one of them shared.  Regarding the narrow gate, Beatriz said: “I think Jesus must mean something like the narrow paths we use to travel up and down the mountain.  If you meet anyone on that path you have to stop and speak with the person.  There is no way that you could pass without seeing the person and having some interaction, and we hear their news as well.  I think that is what Jesus is saying to me- that he wants to meet me on a 'narrow' way so that we will meet one another and just talk.”

What a different “take” on the narrow path and on why Jesus would ever say “ I do not know where you are from.”  Meeting on a narrow path, entering through a narrow gate, means encounter!   Can it be that in this gospel passage Jesus is inviting us to meet him— and not to some boulder strewn, difficult path like the pictures I saw growing up?   It isn’t struggle that Jesus invites us to, but real relationship  - with him and with one another!

We are called to truly meet the other, to have a word, to be present.  In these days of rapid, and often overwhelming, communication, much of it faceless, we are invited to choose a path that not only allows encounter, but necessitates personal encounter.  
This might mean a little less multi-tasking and a lot more focus; letting go of whatever distractions keep me from being really present- to Jesus and to others.

Try to enter by the narrow gate …
What can I choose today that would put me on the path that leads to encounter?


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