Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
As is often the case, Jesus gives a surprising answer to a rather straightforward question in this Sunday’s gospel. “Lord will only a few people be saved?” someone asks Jesus. He responds, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” This should give us pause. Are we taking the path of least resistance in the spiritual life or do we accept the demands of the gospel? Christ forms a new man within us, but that involves us taking up a spiritual regimen of prayer, detachment, self-denial, cultivation of virtues, repentance, etc. Many in our own time would like to assume that heaven naturally follows this life, as day follows night. This doesn’t square with Jesus’ message, though. Rather, we must first acquire a spiritual strength that comes from a real commitment to Christ and a new way of being. The earliest Christians were members of what was called The Way. This refers to the way of the cross, also known as the narrow way: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt. 7:14). If you experience the cross in your own spiritual life, praise God, for you know you are on the narrow way that leads to life.
Since last summer, we have had issues with one of our two air conditioning units in the church. Finally, it went kaput a couple months ago. If we don’t repair it, I fear our other unit will be over stressed, and we’ll have two broken units. Our HVAC company has informed me that it will cost about $18,000 to repair. Over the next couple of weeks, I want to take up a second collection to raise the money to make the necessary repairs. Thank you in advance for your generosity towards the repair of the air conditioning!