Discipline, Not Entitlement
This weekend’s readings are all about the narrow gateway. For anyone who thinks they are entitled to entry into the kingdom, the Hebrew people were reminded that it takes discipline. There are no special darlings or teacher’s pets! There are no claims to “I knew you when…” Or remember me when…” There is no riding the coat tails of grandma or grandpa who were known to Jesus who offer immediate passes. (I have a brother who used to tell his friends that he had a pass because he has a “nun sister.”) Healing what is weak is the goal of this discipline. And each person is responsible for her or his relationship with God or with Jesus.
Training for any endurance race or test is all about building up strength. Practicing good habits helps—healthy eating, adequate rest, appropriate plans for building up endurance. These are the disciplines needed for physical endurance, for physical races.
What is the discipline needed for endurance and strength in our spiritual lives? What kind of healthy habits are we growing in our reading, our praying, and our participation in spiritual strength exercise? Who are our companions, our guides, and those who accompany us in that strength-building? How are our families the sources of strength and discipline for us?
What is the key for each of us to get through the narrow gate? I think the key is LOVE! So what are we doing to strengthen those “love muscles”? How are we helping others to get through the gate?