Reflection for Sunday, August 25, 2019

By Paul Robson sj

I once read a book which told the story of a boy who was in a kind of military space camp. This boy often played a video game. In the game, there were different games within the larger game. As the character in the video game moved along a path, that character could see hints of different games to the left or to the right, games which he could play if he left the path. The boy realized that these smaller games might be fun but would be distractions, and that he should stay on the main path.

Today’s second reading speaks about “straight paths for your feet”. Like the boy playing the video game, we are called to stay on the straight path, the main path, the path of goodness and of God’s will for us, as we journey through life.

Similar to the image of the straight path, the Gospel reading talks about entering through “the narrow door”. If the door is narrow, then it is not easy to get through. It is also difficult for us to stay on the straight path in our lives. It is difficult, maybe even impossible, on our own. But for God all things are possible. Through prayer and through God’s grace, we can stay on the straight path in our life’s journey, and we can return to that path when we have left it. God can make that journey on the straight path not only possible, but easy and pleasant and joyful!

Also, a sure-fire way to get off the straight path is to be overly confident that you are on that straight path. In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges certain people, people who might see themselves as being on the “inside” or on the straight and narrow path. He tells them to be careful lest they find themselves on the outside.

Let us pray that we might make, and that God might make, straight paths for our feet as we continue this journey together.

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