August 21, 2022

Isaiah 66. 18 – 21. Psalm 117. Hebrews 12. 5 – 7, 11 -13. Luke 13.22 – 30.
God disciplines us to enable us to pass through the narrow gate.

In today’s Gospel reading, our Lord Jesus urges us to enter Heaven through the narrow gate. How
do we enter the narrow gate? The answer is given in today’s Second reading. God disciplines us,
to enable us to enter the narrow gate. This gate is not wide enough to allow sin, lukewarm
lifestyle, absence of love for God, irresponsibility, evil inclinations or so on. The narrow gate
allows us to pass through, when we are shaped according to our Almighty Father’s will. 
God Himself will teach us how to enter the narrow gate in our day-to-day life. If God is pushing
us out of our comfort zone or if we feel that there are a few thorns in our body, then God is
disciplining us to be better people. He will ask us to throw away some of our regularly practiced
mistakes to show us something new!! So in these situations instead of feeling down, burying
ourselves in our couch, complaining to everyone about the hardships that we are undergoing, we
need to realise that God has made this set-up for a purpose. Sometimes hardship may be the only
boat for us to sail to Heaven. Without it, we would have gone astray. Let us not mind about the
hard life, but be strong-willed to walk in any direction God shows us. Like the Israelites, God will
provide us with the Manna for food and water from rock to drink while we are undergoing the
difficult changes.
We see in the life of Israelites, how God had to take measures to discipline them, because they
were stiff-necked people. Though their eyes saw the Manna from Heaven and ate it daily, their
hearts could not recognize the tenderness of God who was raining food from Heaven. The desert
was hard. But their clothes were not torn and shoes were not worn out for 40 years since God
provided them whatever they required. They were marching towards the Promised Land but their
hearts were yearning for the food of Egypt when they were in slavery. This made them go around
and around in the wilderness for 40 years, which would have been just an eleven-day journey
(Deuteronomy 1:2). 

We may be in the wilderness for a long time since we are not allowing God to work in us. I had
the experience of going through the wilderness for years, just because I was stiff-necked and not
cooperating with God’s will. I used to ask “Why God, why?” Then I realised that God was
waiting for me to undergo the change He desired for me, but all the time I was thinking that I am
waiting for God!! It is very easy for God to transform our sorrows into joy than transforming our
God teaches us better than any other teacher in the world. He disciplines us stage by stage. First,
He makes us understand the changes He wants us to undergo. We may not hear any words directly
from Him, but He will show us one way or another. Or the Holy Spirit will guide us. Many times
it will be difficult for us to do what He shows. Especially when it is enjoyable to do the wrong
thing. Often we purposely tend to ignore the instructions and slowly we face guilt in our
conscience. If we tend to ignore the guilty conscience also, then God starts to take something from
our comfort zone and places us in a waiting room. Then we will stop resisting and start listening.
We will get exhausted by the time we reach here. Let us be smart and follow His way as soon as
He shows it to us. When we are transformed according to God’s will, then He showers us with
unthinkable graces. 
When God shows us that something is wrong, we will not feel comfortable continuing to do the
same thing after that. Let us not brood, that we are not having pleasures in continuing wrong
things, but instead praise God that we are walking towards the narrow gate. 
God disciplines us according to whatever we are expected to do. People with a special calling will
have a narrower gate than the others. The more special your calling, the narrower your gate and
the more discipline you will have to undergo. God disciplines His children according to their call.
In Mathew 14, we read about Jesus walking on water. Peter too wanted to walk on water and as he
was walking he saw the wind and got frightened. When he got frightened, he immediately began
to sink. Our Lord Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Actually, Peter had more
faith than the rest of the disciples who were witnessing comfortably from the boat. But our Lord
Jesus did not rebuke them but rebuked only Peter, who actually had more faith than them. Our

Lord asked Peter to have faith to withstand the wind when walking on water, while He did not
rebuke those who were still in the boat, not even stepping on the water. 
When we receive more disciplinary measures from our God, we should be happier, since it will be
sweeter in the end.
Jesus instills in us through his surprising statement is that those who want to be saved have to go
through the narrow gate. This means taking up our daily crosses, and follow the footsteps of
Jesus in his Gospel values of justice, love, forgiveness, tolerance, truth and fidelity. The letter to
the Hebrews instructs us on this: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose
heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves, an chastises
every son whom he accepts.”

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom a
father does not disciple?

Those few would be saved, who pass through this vale of tears and darkness willingly, smilingly
as the discipline of God over his children, to purify and pass through this life as Jesus accepts the
narrowness and inconvenient gate to heaven; above all, those few will be saved who not only
think the final results are in the hands of God and everything concerning their salvation entirely
depends on his choice. They will also say to God, when they have done all they have been
commanded, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’

God bless.