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Strive to enter the narrow gate

In Sunday's Gospel (August 21, 2022), someone asked Jesus, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate ... For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last." (Luke 13: 23, 30).

This exchange reminds me of the exchange between Peter and Jesus after the resurrection, in the Gospel of John. Peter, looking at John, said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” (John 21:21), and Jesus said, " ... What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” (John 21:22). Jesus reminded both Peter and the disciple in today's Gospel to focus on what they were called to do, and not worry about what others were called to.

In the context of serving others, Jesus calls each of us, individually. We have to answer that call for ourselves, without concern for what others are called to do. That calling may be hard, a narrow gate to pass through, and it is more difficult to strive towards it if we are comparing ourselves to others.

With this in mind, prayerfully consider this questions as a challenge for this week:

Does a concern about how you compare to others ever interfere with your ability to serve your neighbors? It might sound like this: "It's someone else's job", "I've done my share", or "Why aren't they doing something?". What are other ways that we compare ourselves or distract ourselves from "striving to enter the narrow gate"?

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