The Road that Leads to Life – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Matthew 7: 12-14

One of the most ancient and glorious churches in the Holy Land is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The huge basilica was first built 1,700 years ago by the Emperor Constantine. Once inside you are awed by the space – the huge pillars and shimmering chandeliers. But it’s not very easy to get in. I remember one day spending an hour or so outside the church in the sun, just watching as people went in.  There is only one way to get into that glorious church, and that is through a very small and narrow doorway, just four feet tall. As I watched, all sorts of people were going in: local men and women, rich tourists, poor children with no shoes. Then suddenly, with great ceremony an Orthodox bishop arrived with his entourage. As I watched, what was most unforgettable was that every single person, rich, poor, grandly episcopal, ALL had to bow down very low to get through the gate that led to glory. It was a perfect image for Jesus’s words in today’s gospel: ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.’  All who wanted to enter that great church, however grand they may be, had first to bow down and become small. Read More