The Narrow Door

“The Narrow Door”
Luke 13:22-30 “in a snailshell”
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Luke 13:22-30

What is the “narrow door”? Ask the flowers and the trees this question and listen in silence. The words of Christ whisper out of the depths:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12:24 (RSV)

The “narrow door” is the crack in the seed, the slit and passageway for life and love to break through into flourishing to nourish others and glorify the Lord of life. 

The power of love is tremendous. Have you noticed how tiny plants push through concrete sidewalks and break rocks? “Talk about a mustard seed moving mountains!” writes a concrete service expert. How do they do it? “Molecule by molecule,” much like the unicellular yeast of the preceding parable. Heavy duty rocks are no match for the minuscule molecule energized by the life-giving Spirit of Love.

That same Spirit of Love wants to crack through our hardened hearts and make flowering trees and bushes of our lives for the birds of the air to nest. 

Christ is the “narrow door” that opens our hearts:

I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:9 (RSV)

Living faith is faith that hopes and loves.

Tepidity and lovelessness are “not strong enough” to enter through the narrow door. The unbroken seed remains alone, sealed from the risk of generosity. 

God casts no one out of communion with himself. Love is a choice.


St. Pope John Paull II, Catechesis on Heaven
St. Pope John Paul II, Catechesis on Hell

4 Replies to “The Narrow Door”

  1. Seeds in containers large or small,
    Create diversity
    for us to enjoy.
    Even a hard rock hosts lichen,
    Even a hard heart
    God will employ.
    Little by little grace seeps in
    Now soft love creeps in.

    1. Thank you for your rich images to ponder the mystery of life growing on rocks, and grace and love, little by little, transforming hearts.

  2. Dear GMC, Thank you for turning a most frightening gospel for me into a love story. Everyone needs a GMC in their life to help with the striving, strengthening and softening of our hearts. Your reflection today not only speaks Love to us but makes us witnesses of what it means to choose Love and love God and his world. You’ve taught me that God is love, and so are we. Thank you and we love you, GMC.

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