The Narrow Gate

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
"Lord, will only a few people be saved?"
He answered them,
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
"Lord, open the door for us."
He will say to you in reply,
"I do not know where you are from."
And you will say,
"We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets."
Then he will say to you,
"I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!"
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last." - Luke 13:22-30

Today's Gospel reminds me of the CINOs (Catholic in Name Only) and the  Creasters (those who only go to Mass on Christmas and Easter).  Sometimes it seems that there are Catholics who are hell-bent on ripping the Church apart, but as soon as they need a child baptized/wedding performed or funeral, they are pounding on the door of the rectory demanding "services."  And please don't lie to get what you want.  God knows.

I've long ago lost patience with this type of Catholic.  Wouldn't it be simpler to NOT call yourself a Catholic?  If you are intent on bad-mouthing the Church, not attending Mass why associate yourself with the Church at all?

I have known former Catholics, who in the last stages of their lives, have returned to the Church.  Maybe it's guilt or just trying to cover all the bases, but I can't tell you how many times I have walked into a hospital room to find the very ill in deep conversation with a nun or priest.

Once I was so shocked that my mouth literally dropped open and I apologized for the interruption.  I had no idea that the person had returned to the faith.  After I recovered, and the nun left, I noticed a peace in that person.  We didn't discuss it.  We didn't have to.

I believe that God can change hearts and that I should pray for those who are angry and apathetic towards our faith, but my own heart and attitude towards the CINOs and Creasters needs to change first.

Lord grant me patience ... and hurry!



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