Do I Know You?
Limited offer, a narrow opportunity, seize the moment—these are expressions we often hear in marketing, especially when there is pressure to buy something or consume something. In our Gospel this weekend, the limited opportunity referred to is how we make our way into the Kingdom of God. What does it mean that Jesus says we must enter by the “narrow gate?” Will we, like those in this Gospel, hear Jesus say, “I do not know where you are from.” What if he stopped with the words, “I do not know you.”
When I joined the Sisters of Divine Providence by “entering the convent,” my brothers used to brag to their friends that they had it made to get into heaven because their sister was a nun. I would laugh and say, “You’re on your own there, buddy!” Imagine others saying, “You knew me, Jesus, a number of years ago when I made my First Holy Communion,” or, “my grandmother surely prayed me into your loving embrace.” There is no back door. There is no entitlement, but rather a clear, narrow focus on our relationship with Jesus.
So what will it take for us to make time for Jesus in our lives, to have a solid, real relationship? How will we provide opportunities for Jesus to know us?
Perhaps it will take some discipline—a social media sabbatical or a screenless Sunday, as one of my friends whose profession is in mental health suggested in a meeting this week. Turning off cell phones and other electronics gives us the freedom to be more attentive to God, to each other and to nature. We might discover the art of conversation again. We might come to know each other in new ways, see things we didn’t see before. We might re-discover Jesus!
We often sing “Christ be my vision” at Mass. Let this be our mantra this week.