First Reading: 2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36
Psalm: Ps 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11
Gospel: Mt 7:6, 12-14
Jesus says, `The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it. In effect Jesus is saying, `Do you know what sin is? Sin is missing the mark.’ That is what the Greek verb for sin, hamartano, means: to be off target, be a poor shot, to miss the goal.
A sinner is a poor marksman. He keeps missing the target. To make a field goal on the soccer or football field, you have to aim for the straight and narrow, that limited space between the goal posts. You must hit that narrow space to score a goal. You may kick anywhere else on the field, even into the bleachers, to miss it. The length of your
kick might be impressive, but if you miss that limited target, you don’t score a goal.
Now a sinner is a poor scorer. He keeps missing the goal — the target which Jesus calls `the narrow gate.’ And by missing the goal, sin, brings about fear, guilt, depression, even mental illness. Many mental disorders are spiritual disorders. They should not be part of a normal, healthy Christian life. God sent his Son Jesus to us, to
restore for us the power of hit ting the target, of aiming successfully towards the goal, of finding what life really means. Only God is perfect love. He could trust only his Son to be right on target, to restore that normal love to our lives.
God the Son, the One whom we can trust, took all our evils, all our bad marksmanship, on his own shoulders, died to them on the cross, buried these evils in the grave, and rose to new life, the victorious new life that He now holds out to us.