It’s summer and the social gatherings have been abundant with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Good food and drink all summer long, and the Lord is present in all of that goodness.
But today Jesus gives us a stark reminder that life isn’t all about eating, drinking, and partying. Rather, we’re called to walk through the narrow gate of friendship with the Lord and live as He did, not living as everyone else does.
He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then He will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all your evildoers!’
I know in my own life, sometimes I do put the party or gathering of eating and drinking before something I do for Christ, like evening prayer, a ministry meeting, or volunteering. Do you have a tendency to do the same? Today calls that priority into question. It asks us if we are putting friendship with God and doing His work above the partying. Are we truly disciplined in our life of faith, as the second reading says?
That is the narrow way – the way that most aren’t following. It’s disciplined, faithful, and focused. It’s not a constant party.
I don’t think God does not want us to enjoy ourselves from time to time because after all, Jesus did! But I do think God wants us to prioritize Him above all else and be a disciplined disciple. I think if we take an honest look at what we’re doing in our lives, we may find that there is a bit too much partying vs. spending time on God’s priorities.
Naturally, most of us would rather eat, drink and be merry than pray, volunteer, and do the work of the Kingdom, but friends, that’s not the narrow way. That’s the wide way that everyone else is following: a life of self-focused pleasure on a constant basis.
So as summer comes to a close in the coming weeks, take that as a cue to get back on track with your life as a disciple and to get your focus back to the things of God.