The owner will shut the door of the House at some point and we will stand outside, knocking, only to hear a voice say, I do not know where you come from. This is not an easy Gospel reading at all today. I am not sure that I believe in a God who ignores our cries, even in last-minute desperation. The scare tactics of religion are still prevalent today. What are our images of God, of salvation, of Heaven and hell, and of sin? These are important questions for believers to sort through because they will help you at times of desolation. I encourage you to read about this Ignatian concept at the link if you are unaware of the term.
For me, God is in all things. We just need the eyes to see the Divine and recognize it. The narrow door that we are to strive to enter is a reminder to not turn too late because all of us are dying and we may not have the time to come before God in this life if we leave it too late. If we find ourselves knocking at the Gate without having acknowledged God here on earth, I still think God is not a scary dinosaur who is not going to let us in. I suppose we will find out eventually if our believe system is right or wrong. I stayed overnight with a friend who has a saying on her mantle which is in effect that whether we recognize God or not, God is there.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with someone who is dying and that person said to me that there was some fear about not getting into heaven. Like me, this person, is confident that Heaven exists for all people. The devil whispers doubts to her though, reminding her that she is a sinner and God may not forgive her. Ah, that nasty fallen one plays on our weaknesses. I sometimes catch myself thinking my arrogance about being sure that I am going to heaven may catch up to me, but I base that solely on the fact that I believe in a merciful, loving God, not on my own merit of deserving to get in that narrow door. Isn’t understanding God in this way what the Year of Mercy is about?
As the Psalmist sings today Great is the steadfast love toward us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. We must do our part–I acknowledge that but God is steadfast and faithful and seeks out the lost sheep every time. I believe that narrow gate is wide enough and that closed door will be opened when it is my time to knock. I hope you agree when it is your time to rap on the door too.
In your belief system, who gets into Heaven?
What is your image of God as Judge?
Ruler of the Universe, you judge us worthy even when we condemn ourselves and others. Give us peace in our souls so that we fear not the Day of Judgment. Instead let us find courage and joy in coming Home to spend eternity with you. Help us to seek you now and not to wait until the last moment to praise you for the daily blessings you bestow upon us. Amen.