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Going Through the Narrow Gate – Family Reflection Video

By: Father David Marcham on October 26th, 2022

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Going Through the Narrow Gate – Family Reflection Video

Why pray?  |  Return to the Church

Last week, Father Fred spoke of the benefits of the first disciples going out two by two. Today’s gospel brought me back to that message as it connects to our salvation. 

Back in 2010, I went to Rome for meetings about Father Peyton’s Cause for Sainthood. I arrived one day before Father Jim Phalan, so, unlike the disciples, I was traveling alone. Everything went fine during the day, even the evening, until about 10:30 or 11 pm when I returned to the monastery where I was staying.

As I approached the 30-foot-high iron gate, my heart sank; the gate had been chained and padlocked. To make matters worse, I didn’t have a phone number to call anyone in the monastery! 

Just like in the gospel story, I searched for a way in; I called out to priests (that I could see) on the third and fourth floors, trying to get their attention, but to no avail. 

I circled the property looking for a lower wall to climb or a back door or window without success. After what seemed like an eternity, I realized my mistake; I had gone to the wrong part of the gate, for there was a general entrance chained and padlocked, and then … there was a small entrance that opened with the key that Father Innocence had given me before I went out for the evening. 

Yes, the gate was narrow, but I hadn’t paid close enough attention to its location. The darkness and my attempt to solve the problem alone caused me not to see this narrow gate. I had the key that opened the gate to this holy place, but in the darkness, with anxiety and discouragement, I couldn’t use it. 

At different times we can swing between two poles when it comes to believing in Jesus’ promise that He has saved us.

  • On one end is a presumption, that is, the belief that because Jesus has won eternal life for us, we can just live on cruise control when it comes to living His gospel message every day. 
  • At the other end is despair, believing that we’re irredeemable, that there’s no reason to believe that we can make it through the narrow gate that Jesus talks about today. 

Jesus was trying to help His listeners understand the need for strength to remain on the right path to heaven. It’s not easy so we need the grace of God. 

There are many gates or doors that we walk through in our lives. And at times we can get lost, discouraged, or worried when we take our eyes off Jesus. This is when our family and friends can help us, and we can help them. 

Jesus tells us that He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. To make it through today, tomorrow, and eventually the narrow gate to Heaven, it all begins by keeping our eyes fixed on the Cross of Jesus, receiving the Sacraments, and prayer every day. 

That’s how we get closer to that narrow gate, each day—not alone but with Jesus and those He places in our lives.

About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!