“If you desire these present goods too inordinately, you will lose the heavenly and eternal goods.” (IC 3,16,1) | “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Mt 7:14)

|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XVI: ”How True Comfort must be Sought in God Alone” (second entry)

After this line, Kempis goes on to say that our attitude toward temporal things must be utility, while eternal considerations are what are to be desired. How we handle worldly matters determines the extent to which we desire and will attain unending happiness.

|Today’s Gospel reading: Mt 7:6, 12-14

As we draw near to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we recall the great challenges to living the life of a Christian disciple that Jesus has already presented in this extended lesson. Here, the Lord provides one of His most ominous warnings: deviation from the path to holiness is easy and most folks take these dangerous side routes endangering their eternal fate. How does this happen? By not heeding what Jesus says immediately before His discussion of the two paths: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.”

|Reflection

Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms how easy it is to “desire these present goods too inordinately” thus “los[ing] the heavenly and eternal goods.” There are few passages in all of Scripture that should give us pause like this one. The Lord was a radical — there is no room for compromise for the true disciple. One must be detached from this world while fully embracing God’s will for us so that we may have joy in the next world. The Messiah is not messing around here. Neither should we.

Der breite und der schmale Weg 2008.jpg
The broad and the narrow path (original: 1866 / this version: late 20th or early 21st century)
by Charlotte Reihlen (idea) and Paul Beckmann (execution)

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