Faith Daily |21 June 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 554
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 6-14
6 ‘Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12 ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
13 ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy* that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d David
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die”. Those unforgettable words of the German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer express a fundamental truth about being a serious follower of Jesus. They echo the words of St Paul “….anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
And there is no better place to discover what this means than in what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount. Today’s Scripture passage is from the last part of this Sermon, where He gives four instructions to His disciples and to us.
Much could be said about the first three, which relate to the important Christian living issues of sharing the good news of Jesus with others, effective prayer, and the practice of what is commonly called the “Golden Rule”.
But whenever I read Jesus words in verses 13 and 14, they always grab my attention. These are our Lord’s words and their meaning cannot be missed. There is clearly a way of living where those who choose to follow it end up in the place of eternal separation from God. Jesus called it “The highway to hell” (NLT). It leads to a wide entry gate into that eternal place, because Jesus said, many will choose that way. But there is another way He calls “the gateway to life” (NLT). Those who choose to follow it end up in eternal life with God. There is no other way to enter God’s eternal Kingdom. This way leads to a very narrow entry gate because Jesus said, the way is difficult and few will find it.
It’s easy to feel an uneasiness as we reflect on these words. Does my life demonstrate that I am faithfully travelling the way that leads to the narrow gate? How much do I allow the ways of this dark world in which I live to guide my way? Do I truly put the Lord first in my daily life and give all I can to His service?
A little earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs us to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else….” (Matt 6:33) The meaning of this verse is as direct as it sounds. This is to be our priority.
So here at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we hear its application, there are only two life pathways, and only two eternal destinations. The narrow gate is entered by those who hear the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and do them; the wide gate is entered by those who hear those words and do not do them.
May we all ensure that our lives each day bear witness that we are among those travelling the narrow way to the gateway to life.
FINAL PRAYER Taken from a prayer of Gregory of Nazianzus
“May the word in you never be smothered with the cares of this life and so make you unfruitful: but may you walk the King’s highway, turning aside neither to the right hand nor the left, but led by the Spirit through the narrow gate.”