Today's Gospel in Art - Enter by the narrow gate

  • Patrick van der Vorst

The Wide Road and the Narrow Road, by Jan Luyken 1712 © Christian Art

The Wide Road and the Narrow Road, by Jan Luyken 1712 © Christian Art

Gospel of 23rd June 2020 - Matthew 7:6,12-14

Jesus said to his disciples: 'Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.

'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.

'Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.'

Reflection on the Engraving

Our engraving today by Dutch artist Jan Luyken (printed in 1712) is a great visual aid for reflecting on our Gospel reading today. We see the wide gate on the left, with people dancing and celebrating quite merrily as they walk through the wide arch. The top of the gate has a carved relief of the earthly globe. To follow that road is what the world wants us to do. The other road, the narrow path Jesus mentions in our reading, is on the right of our engraving. A man is seen after picking up his cross, walking through the narrow gate. Other people carrying their crosses are a bit further along the narrow path… They are walking towards a burst of light on top of the hill, Heaven. The others on the left are walking towards a storm…

Jesus is simply telling us that the pathway to true eternal life requires effort and focus. It requires picking up our crosses and hitting that narrow road. Passing through the narrow gate is just the first step. For all of us these narrow gates differ, for some it will be the narrow gate of commitment, for others the narrow gate of generosity towards the poor, for others the narrow gate of loving our neighbour,… by choosing and walking through those narrow gates we become true followers of Christ…. yes, uphill at times and hard, but ever so rewarding when we reach the light at the top of the hill…


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Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst, Jan Luyken

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