Eng Esp Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

The Narrow Door

The Narrow Gate / La Puerta Angosta

Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is nice to be back after a blessed pilgrimage to Poland and Rome. I truly feel refreshed and re-energized after this experience with Pope Francis who, once again, has touched me so deeply with his words but especially with his contagious joy in spreading the good news of the gospel. I am sure that most of the young people, and not so young like me, went back to their parishes inspired by the Pope’s enthusiasm, zeal and energy and love he has for Jesus and His Church. One of the many things that I learned from this trip and that some how has to do with this Sunday’s gospel in which Jesus invites to “do our best to enter by the narrow door,” is that we need to be careful in not “throwing in the towel” before the game has even begun. Pope Francis said that it so sad to see young people walking around as if life had no meaning. But it is also hard and troubling to see young people who had chosen the “wide door” which is a metaphor for an easy and comfortable way of life. In the words of the Holy Father, these young people have wasted their lives looking for thrills or taking dark paths that, at the end, will have to pay for it and pay dearly. The narrow door of the gospel it is then an invitation and a challenge to go beyond our comfort zone; to do our best in achieving fulfillment and new life. It is not easy, but Jesus gives us the grace we need to do this. He gives us true passion for life and inspire us not to settle for less, but to give the best of ourselves. Again, it is not easy, but I tell you it is all worth it. Let us come out or our comfort zone we will find the true fulfillment of life. May God Bless you!

Readings for the Week

Monday: 2 Thes 1:1-5, 11-12; Ps 96:1-5; Mt 23:13-22
Tuesday: 2 Thes 2:1-3a, 14-17; Ps 96:10-13; Mt 23:23-26
Wednesday: Rv 21:9b-14; Ps 145:10-13, 17-18; Jn 1:45-51
Thursday: 1 Cor 1:1-9; Ps 145:2-7; Mt 24:42-51
Friday: 1 Cor 1:17-25; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11; Mt 25:1-13
Saturday: 1 Cor 1:26-31; Ps 33:12-13, 18-21; Mt 25:14-30
Sunday: Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Ps 68:4-7, 10-11; Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a; Lk 14:1, 7-14

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday: St. Rose of Lima
Wednesday: St. Bartholomew
Thursday: St. Louis of France; St. Joseph Calasanz
Saturday: St. Monica

“All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest patience, and, most of all, profound humility. The Lord will find them worthy to become fel- low workers with him in the cause of truth.” — St. Joseph Calasanz

Treasures from Our Tradition

It is no accident that the words “disciple” and “discipline” are nearly identical. Their relationship in Christian faith and life, however, has fallen somewhat out of favor in the past generation, as certain prescribed Church rules and regulations have been reduced and relaxed. These rules were often referred to as “disciplines.” We are mistaken, however, to think that it no longer takes discipline to follow Christ. The Letter to the Hebrews assures us of that today. Our discipline is more like that of an athlete pursuing a victory or a personal best, or a musician striving for a concert career or to master a new piece of music. This discipline comes from desire, not from regulations. It was the desire to do the will of God that led Jesus on the path to his cross. It is that same desire he encourages in us today: to strive to enter through the narrow gate, to find ourselves in the kingdom with a surprising assortment of people who are there not because of mere observation of rules, but out of a genuine desire to recline at the table of the heavenly banquet.