The wall around Jerusalem had 12 gates. Although the number 12 may remind us of the 12 tribes of Israel, it was also a fact that Jerusalem was a hub of travel and commerce. Many roads converged at Jerusalem, so a number of gates were necessary. Walls were thickest around the gate areas because those would be the logical places of attack. Walls were built of stone while gates were constructed of wood. More watchmen were placed above and to the side of gates for extra vigilance and protection.
We've spoken before of the need for "walls" for our own lives (see the discussion on Ephesians 6 in July 2014), but our entire life, our entire being cannot be a wall. We must also have gates, and those gates will have to be guarded. So what gates do we have? Obviously we have ears, eyes and a mouth as openings in our own lives.
We must be careful what we listen to with our ears. Who and what are we letting into our mind through our ears? Are we listening to gossip? Perhaps we've gotten used to hearing foul language from friends or in movies. We might have developed a taste for music with racist or sexist lyrics. Whatever the source, the ear gate, if not guarded constantly, can allow in many things which pollute our mind and spirit. If we listen to enough of these expressions they become a part of us and a part of our thinking. Before long we begin saying them aloud ourselves.
For Reflection: Let us examine our listening habits. Have we become immune to foul or crude language so much so that we don't even notice it when we hear it? Have we listened to gossip at work or at church? Do we spend more time putting people down than building them up. Do we need to clean out our ears and close up the gates?
Let us pray. Father, I ask you to help me clean out my ears and hear anew the language around me. Help me to identify and remove from my life language that is harmful to me. Give me a greater love of reading and listening to your words.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.