The words of the Gospel from Matthew 7:6-14 that spoke to me today were … “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”
I am a great believer of God’s mercy as I have walked the broad road too often. I use the icon of Divine Mercy. I know I am deserving of God’s justice and only by the blood shed for me by our Savior Jesus Christ, can I even ask for his mercy. But I also believe that to receive God’s mercy, I have to be repentant of my sinfulness. That does not mean that I will never commit that sin again but that in my heart and all my being, I do not want to offend my Lord again.
St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, in the 4th century commented in a homily on this narrow gate. He talked about people of poverty versus luxury, independence versus those who carry ten thousand burdens; the lax and dissolute and the thoughtful and anxious. He spoke about Lazarus who was poor and the rich man. Lazarus comfortably in the bosom of Abraham and the rich man in torment. St. John finishes with … “What defect then does poverty seem to possess? Lying. And what, wealth? Pride, the mother of evils; which also made the devil a devil, who was not such before. Again, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
Proverbs 30:7-9 says … “Two things I ask of you, do not deny them to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, “Who is the LORD?” Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.”
I end by saying that in our world of relativism today, whatever you think is the truth is the truth to you. For us as believers, Jesus is the truth and there is only one truth. It is best for us to strive to eliminate our lying and our pride, with the help of his grace, to enter through the narrow gate.