In the Gospel this Sunday, our Lord says to us: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” (Luke 13:24) How are we to do this? Our Lord clearly teaches us the answer elsewhere in Scripture: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We may go further and ask: how am I to know how this is to the happen, that is, to go through Jesus to our Father?
There is a beautiful teaching by St. John Eudes that explains how this works. I invite you to prayerfully meditate on this reading at least once and, perhaps, several times this week:
From a Treatise on the Admirable Heart of Jesus by St. John Eudes, priest
The source of salvation and true life
“I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head and that you are a member of His body. He belongs to you as the head belongs to the body. All that is His is yours; breath, heart, body, soul and all His qualities. All of these you must use as if they belonged to you, so that in serving Him you may give Him praise, love and glory. You belong to Him as a member belongs to the head. This is why He earnestly desires you serve and glorify the Father by using all our faculties as if they were His.
He belongs to you, but more than that, he longs to be in you, living and ruling in you, as the head lives and rules in the body. He desires that whatever is in Him may live and rule in you: His breath in your breath, His heart in your heart, all the faculties of His soul in the faculties of your soul, so that these words may be fulfilled in you: Glorify God and bear Him in your body, so that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in you.
You belong to the Son of God but more than that you ought to be in Him as members are in the head. All that is in you must be incorporated into Him. You must receive life from Him and be ruled by Him. There will be no true life for you except in Him, for He is the one source of true Life. Apart from Him you will find only death and destruction. Let Him be the only source of your movements, of the actions and the strength of your life.
He must be both the source and the purpose of your life, so that you may fulfill these words: None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, so that He may be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Finally you are one with Jesus as the body is one with the head. You must then have one breath with Him, one soul, one life, one will, one mind, one heart. And He must be your breath, heart, love, life, your all. These great gifts in the follower of Christ originate from Baptism. They are increased and strengthened through Confirmation and making good use of other graces that are given by God. Through the Holy Eucharist they are brought to perfection.”
Brothers and Sisters, permit me to add one further point to St. John Eudes’ beautiful teaching found in the last paragraph above: The Sacrament of Confession forgives venial sins that damage our union with Jesus and this same Sacrament of His Mercy restores sanctifying grace and the Divine Indwelling of Jesus that is completely lost due to mortal sin.
Let us ask our good Lord for the grace to love Him with all our hearts and to turn away and repent of anything that damages the union of love in our souls that was made by Him when we were Baptized!
Through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may our good Lord help us to love Him with our whole hearts each day!
In Christ through Mary,
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