The word "strive" in this verse from today's Gospel gives me incredible hope because it speaks directly to my many imperfections, my daily struggles, while also encouraging me continue to stay strong and focused on the teachings of Christ.
It is so easy to get off track everyday because we meet so much opposition to the truth. But we must pray for an increase of faith. We must believe that Christ's death was for each of us, individually. We must continue to get up every time we fall and strive to enter the narrow gate.
What God longs for us to do is to live in the truth Jesus reveals. This means believing in God's absolute, unconditional love, not in a notional way but one that transforms our attitudes and whole approach to life.1
O sweet Savior Christ, in your undeserved love for us you were prepared to suffer the painful death of the cross: let me not be cold or even lukewarm in my love for you.
Lord help me to face the truth about myself. Help me to hear my words as others hear them, To see my face as others see me; Let me be honest enough to recognize my impatience and conceit;
Let me recognize my anger and selfishness; Give me sufficient humility to accept my own weakness for what they are. Give me the grace – at least in your presence – to say. ‘I was wrong – forgive me.’
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, increase in us faith and truth and gentleness and grant us part and lot among the saints.
— St. Polycarp 69-115
Note: 1 Sister Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.