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The Narrow Gate

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In Scripture, Jesus is asked, who will be saved--a question that is brought to his attention several times. Let’s face it, we too want to know if we will be in heaven and who will be with us. Which family members or friends will be at the table in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Jesus reminds us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. Historically, Jesus tells us that the camel will enter the narrow gate easier than a rich man enters heaven. The camel had to lay on the ground and crawl carefully through the narrow entrance. It was uncomfortable for the camel to do this. We are challenged to strive to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ. The demands of discipleship often asking us to move out of our comfort zone. There may be pain and suffering in following Jesus, but His grace is always there to sustain us.

 How is God challenging you today to follow Jesus?

The Fire of the Holy Spirit

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We come across a very passionate and emboldened Jesus in Luke 12: 49-53. We are also given one of Jesus’ harder teachings to understand. What does Jesus mean that he didn’t come to bring peace? He is Jesus, isn’t that just what he does?

The point Jesus is trying to get across is this passage of Luke is that preaching the gospel will, at times, cause very difficult divisions. It is often said the two subjects never to talk about with family and friends are religion and politics. Why? Because these are such personal aspects of people’s lives. I’m sure we’ve come across many family tensions that are rooted in differences of faith or theological interpretations.

I wish that the world was set ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit. I wish that every believer’s heart, including my own, could be so on fire with God’s love that our world would be transformed. Since we are people of faith we must also be aware that though the fire of the Spirit does burn bright, we have our work to do to share the gospel message.

Yes, we might experience conflict in living out our faith, but let’s pray with Jesus that the world be evermore set ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit!

in Faith

Striving for Holiness

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Are you ready to be called home to God?

Christ tells us that we “must be prepared” for our time will be “at an hour you do not expect.” Are you ready to be called home to God? I think this is a question we need to ask ourselves daily. This is why I love the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, especially the evening examine. It keeps me accountable as I strive for holiness. How have I shown a love for God and love for others today? What are the moments from today in which I have fallen short?

How can I avoid these traps tomorrow? Depending on how my day has gone, I often need to ask myself, “do I need the sacrament of reconciliation to repair my relationship with God?”

We do not know the time or place, but if we constantly strive to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and seek to share that love with others, the time will not matter.

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