Will You Fit through the Narrow Gate?

narrow gateThere is a lot in the news these days about athletes making big mistakes that get them in a lot of trouble. There’s Ryan Lochte, the Olympic swimmer who left Rio in disgrace after lying to the police about being robbed at gunpoint when in fact he was drunk and wrecked a public restroom. There are several football players from the University of Notre Dame (my alma mater) who are either being suspended or kicked off the team before the season even starts for a variety of misconduct and arrests for battery, gun and drug charges. It’s easy to talk about all of these young men in the spotlight, easy to judge them for falling so far, and to pity their parents. They say the bigger you are, the harder you fall, and that’s true, especially when you’re in the harsh glare of the media. As Jesus taught, we shouldn’t judge these young men but look at ourselves and where we fall short…as people and as parents. Are we doing all we can to avoid temptation, be good examples, be loving and forgiving,  and help our children walk the straight and narrow path? “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough,” Jesus says in the Gospel (Luke 13:22). Often it is not our falls or failures  that count, but how we overcome them. Even the now-great Michael Phelps made huge mistakes at one point in his career, being arrested for a DUI. But he did the next right thing, went into a rehab, started over and made his way back to become the best Olympian of all time. Let’s pray for the athletes and others in the news who have fallen, that they pick themselves back up and get back on track…and pray for ourselves that we will keep striving to get through the narrow gate and teach our children to do the same.


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