There’s a certain animated show about heroic seafarers and steadfast friends that means a lot to me. The main characters form a crew of strong warriors and sharp minds, cemented by the bonds of friendship, trust, and a shared mission. There are so many inspiring and poignant moments that make this an incredible show, but for now I’d like to focus on this one line:

“If I don’t fight with everything I’ve got, there’s no way I deserve to be on the same boat as them. There’s no way I can laugh with them.”

Throughout the show, the crew’s marksman struggles with feeling useless compared to his incredibly strong friends. Sure, he’s got good ideas and the eye of a hawk, but he’s constantly afraid and knows he’s weak. He’s “just a normal guy.” It takes time for him to realize that even though he’s no superhero, by giving it his all and trusting his friends to do the same, he’s an invaluable member of the team.

That quote struck me after hearing a recent Sunday Gospel:

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.” (Luke 13:42)

“Many will attempt to enter, but will not be strong enough…”

Who could possibly be strong enough?

We’re constantly bombarded with conflicting messages from a broken world – a siren song of sin. By our very nature, we’re apt to fall again and again. I don’t know about you, but I’m just a normal person. How can I be strong enough to enter through the same narrow gate as the mighty saints before me?

The task before us is daunting, yet we should not despair. What we must remember is this: We don’t have to be strong enough! We could never be strong enough on our own. Jesus has led the way and walks with us now. The Holy Spirit fills us, as our guardian angels watch over. And the saints, the mighty faithful whose holiness seems so unattainable to us “normal ones,” are our steadfast crew through this life’s journey. When you look closely, the communion of saints is filled with people just like us – People who struggled with sin, who weren’t always strong or brave, who nevertheless to strived to enter through the narrow gate.

We must fight with everything we have, getting up when we fall, again and again.

Through Christ’s mercy and love, we will have the strength to enter through the narrow gate. Then we will be with Him and all the saints, and laugh with them through all eternity. Keep up the good fight and trust in God!

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