“How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

Yesterday’s short excerpt from Jesus’ sermon (Mt 7:6, 12-14) contains three famous sayings: Don’t “throw your pearls before swine,” the Golden Rule, and “the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction.”  The last saying has the words at top as its conclusion.  This should not be a frightening thought, but it should be a sobering one.  The way of the world is the way of the wide road.  Go along to get along.  If it feels good, do it.  “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (Is 22:13)  You only live once.  This is not God’s way, though.  We know the path to heaven through His revelation, safeguarded by the Church, to which He entrusted the keys to the Kingdom.  God gives us true freedom, His freedom, that is, the freedom He practices.  Sin makes us less human as it makes us less like the perfect Man.  Vice enslaves (cf. Jn 8:34).  The broad way has detours into enslavement.  The “straight and narrow” way of the Lord keeps us from the lurking dangers that can be so tempting but must diligently be avoided.  If few are on that path when called home to the Lord, we want to be in that number.  And we are called to bring as many with us as possible.  Thus, we must never shirk from the face of evil, but confront it head on.  We must never confirm anyone in sin, but make known to them the true Way (cf. Jn 14:6), always in love, primarily through example, and never accompanied without fervent prayer.

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