Narrow Way

Lust addiction and compulsions are challenging to conquer. The conquering is God’s, because we who are flesh do not have the power. To weak flesh is added grace the divine assistance, the invisible power of God, the strength that delivers us.

Along this long way of transformation, we may not find, at some near point, total freedom. But it is quickly obvious also that hopeless impossibility, as a general plan, is not going to help either! The recovering can discover by a grace, that there is a way, something vital and intense and in the end the only actual route of escape.

The way of the cross. The words are so familiar. Who hasn’t heard them a thousand times? They remain a parable. Unless one enters them, they never make sense. The way is somewhere in the middle and it is indeed narrow. But Jesus has already been there. He has consecrated the narrow way, everything is possible.

At that time Jesus took unto Him the twelve and said to them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the Prophets concerning the Son of man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon: and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again. And they understood none of those things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. Now it came to pass, when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before him rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he was come near, He asked him, saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord that I may see. And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight, thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. - Luke 18: 31-43

A pew transcribed homily by Msgr. Charles Pope given for this gospel reading of Quinquagesima Sunday:

Jesus is going to Jerusalem for the last time. There is irony in this Gospel. The apostles did not understand and preferred to remain blind. They resist and we [all of us today] are like them. There are crosses we don’t want to carry. Like, “you are going to die”. What are we doing to get ready? Many do not prepare. Notice the picture of blindness and resistance. In Jericho, the blind man knows he is blind, and he wants to see. The disciples shush him, staying in their blindness. The man won’t give up. Jesus commands: Bring him to Me. Jesus asks: What do you want Me to do for you? This is for everyone. Be very prayerful and careful with the answer. If the man is no longer blind, he will see many new things, including the unpleasant. Many seek relief; but healing requires change. Healing and transformation is hard. We have to become something else. It is all dripping with irony. Healing takes courage. During Lent, be careful how you answer. The path is the cross. The path of transformation and holiness is not for the faint of heart, nor for the timid, nor the indolent. What do you want Jesus to do?

Father of all grant us the grace of willingness to suffer, prevent suffering from wounding us, let our will be the suffering, the virtue of mortification, let our willingness to suffer undo demonic action, let the suffering of our transformation merit the grace of healing peace. We ask with faith in Jesus’ name. Amen.