First and Last
While Jesus takes steps towards Jerusalem someone asks how many will be saved.
Jesus doesn’t answer the question but addresses how to approach salvation. “Strive to enter through the narrow door.” With athletic determination commit yourself totally to God and your vocation, God’s plan for your life. This effort is the wood we bring for the sacrifice by which we symbolically burn our control over our own life.
What is left over is liberation and a spaciousness in which we can set striving aside and experience what is on the other side of the narrow door: a banquet of universal, undivided and inclusive Divine Love. This love satisfies every direction within us and gathers people from every direction on earth. This love is the gentle eternal striving of Spirit that upholds all creation and opens the door where Our Father, who sees in secret, is ready to be our reward.
We leave this final striving, the striving of surrender, to the last because its hard to be seen. To be seen by God implies being seen or accepted by yourself. Merciful self-acceptance opens a door to Divine acceptance. This is the basis for merciful acceptance of others: the people who come from east and west, north and south. Our striving is bringing and arranging the wood. God’s striving is the fire that turns us into the fire of Divine Love by our accepting it into every direction within us.
This is what God puts first: our salvation. But sometimes we take more satisfaction in how we pile our wood compared to others. The less we accept ourselves the less we will accept others and we will judge them unworthy of salvation. When we put ourselves first we end up last. By putting our vocation first we honor the God who put our salvation first.
But by ingesting what we have eaten and drunk, and by pondering what we have been taught we can start to slowly surrender our egoistic striving. Then love will usher us in from all directions and with all peoples through the door meant for all, not only a few.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director OMI Lacombe Canada
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment.