• Elpidio Pezzella

Strive to enter through the narrow door

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able".

Luke 13: 23-24 (NKJV)

Jesus' journey towards Jerusalem may correspond to a spiritual journey that involves the reader of the Gospel and configures it as an itinerant in the mandate to announce the Gospel. During his journey, Jesus hears himself addressing this question: "Lord, are there few who are saved?". A question that still lives today many hearts: will salvation be reserved for the few or will God's mercy open the doors of heaven to many? However, Jesus does not answer the question directly, but divert attention beyond any useless curiosity. In fact, he clearly proclaims what is urgent for all: "Strive (strive) to enter through the narrow door, for many will seek to enter, but will not be able (they will not succeed)". We easily let ourselves be deviated from the things that really interest our lives in the present and the future. The city gates were closed on Saturday to prevent any movement: no cargo could pass through the doors. However, it could happen that a child or an animal got lost in the countryside on Friday evening, and someone had to rescue him even on Saturday; so someone had to enter and leave the city. The narrow door was the small door that allowed entering and leaving the city behind closed doors. No cargo had to enter the city, every load had to remain outside the narrow door, it was so narrow that a camel that was the largest beast of burden could pass by force. That little door was like that eye of the needle mentioned by Jesus, speaking of a rich man's difficulty in gaining salvation (Luke 18:25). The shape of the eye probably referred to the narrow door. Although it was so small, however, it allowed the forced passage of a camel that had to be unloaded first, made to kneel and pushed by its owner to cross the narrow door. Of course it is easier to unload a camel, make him kneel down and push him through that little eye as small as the eye of a needle, than to convince a rich man to want to leave all his wealth, his ego, his own outside the narrow gate of the kingdom of heaven. pride. For those who listened to the image of the door must have been quite familiar. The subsequent words of Jesus make us consider two different ways of approaching salvation: the way of those who claim to possess it for some privilege of birth or for some merit and the way of those who, on the other hand, seek it day by day with humility, placing oneself in the footsteps of Jesus. The possibility of not finding access to it in the most important moment remains a sad and tragic prospect. For this reason, those who esteem his words cannot fail to take into account another indication: "I am the door: if anyone enters through me, he will be saved; he will come and go and find pasture" (John 10:9 NKJV). He is the door of salvation, which leads to the eternal pastures. He, and He alone, is the only mediator and through him men have access to the Father. If entering through the narrow door may not seem easy, it is certainly within everyone's reach. We are so urged to fight to enter through the narrow door, to pass that threshold actively, instead of remaining to look at it, to think about it or complain. Let us not question those who enter. We struggle to enter! Later, it will be our task to urge others to struggle to enter too, before it is too late. If the door remains narrow, in addition there is still space.

____ Devotional 14/2019 Weekly Bible reading plan 01 April Judges 13-15; Luke 6:27-49 02 April Judges 16-18; Luke 7:1-30 03 April Judges 19-21; Luke 7:31-50 04 April Ruth 1-4; Luke 8:1-25 05 April 1Samuas 1-3; Luke 8:26-56 06 April 1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 9:1-17 07 April 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36

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