|When I think back to my college and graduate school days, I remember when I used to meet with my professors in their offices. I always found myself amazed at the volume of books that existed in some of these offices. These were books these professors had accumulated and had read, and they occupied shelves from floor to ceiling in some cases! I suppose there are a couple of ways a professor might think of those shelves of theirs. On the one hand, one professor may think, “How intelligent and well-read I am! Just look at all of these books I have read!” On the other hand, another professor may think, “Gosh, I have indeed read all of these books, but there is so much more that I do not know and have yet to learn! I sure have my work cut out for myself!”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus implores those around him to “Strive to enter through the narrow door.” (Lk 13:24) He also cautions those around him that “some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Lk 13:30) I am constantly struck by the openness and humility it must have taken for Jesus’ listeners to truly hear his message and have it sink in. Just as much now as it did then, Jesus’ message flips things upside down, challenging us to reconsider our values and way of living and what it is we truly seek.
If we are to be truly open to what Jesus is saying, it’s my feeling that the approach of the second professor (above) is the way to go. Indeed, our faith tells us that Mary had such humility in her receptiveness to God’s invitation to be the mother of his son. Let us, then, ask Mary for her intercession that we may be granted the openness to hear God’s call and respond to his seeking of us.