Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as
he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked
him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?"
He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow
gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to
enter but will not be strong enough. After the master
of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ´Lord,
open the door for us.´ He will say to you
in reply, ´I do not know where you are
from.´ And you will say, ´We ate and drank in
your company and you taught in our streets.´ Then
he will say to you, ´I do not know where
(you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!´
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the
prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves
cast out. And people will come from the east
and the west and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of
God. For behold, some are last who will be
first, and some are first who will be last."
Prayer: I believe in you, my God. You called
me into existence from nothingness and carefully watch over me.
You have even numbered the hairs of my head.
I trust in your infinite goodness, and I abandon
into your loving hands my fears, my hopes, my needs,
my desires, everything. I love you, Lord, and wish
to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and
Petition: I shall not fear for my
salvation, but grow in confidence in you, my God.
1. Salvation: A Numbers Racket? We never stop asking
the question the person in the Gospel asked Jesus. If
we don’t achieve eternal life, nothing else we have
attained in life matters. Jesus does not give the
answer we might want to hear: that many are saved,
and salvation is a sure and simple thing to
reach. Instead, he warns us against presumption in this
matter. As Saint Paul later said, “Work out your salvation
in fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). It is something
we need to take with the utmost seriousness. Every
day we need to pray for the grace to persevere
to the end. We need to live each day
with the perspective that it could be our last. We
need to go back to the venerable tradition of
praying for a “happy death.”
2. Narrow Gates: When Jesus speaks
of the narrow gate, he is saying that salvation
is not a birthright or something guaranteed. It depends
on our active cooperation with his grace -- the real
effort to love God and follow his will. “If
you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John
14:15). Jesus warned that not everyone who cries out,
“Lord, Lord…” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those
who do the will of his Father in heaven.
Obedience to God’s will is the best assurance we can
have of our salvation. What is there in my
life that is not in accord with his will?
Not… We might also be surprised that those from
“the east and the west” will enter the kingdom before
many others. We might be surprised at those who
are saved. Salvation is not a privilege of a
race or a chosen people. It is a matter of
how we respond in freedom to grace and the
invitation of the Lord to a certain way of life.
We shouldn’t give in to judging where others stand;
we should only attend to our own soul. Are
we at peace with God in our conscience? Can we
be sure we are objective about our own situation
in God’s eyes? Our conscience should be clear, and
we should make sure we are serene and have peace
of soul. If we find there is something between
us and God’s will, we should go to confession and
pray for the grace to change.
Christ: Lord, give me the grace to know
your will and the discernment to know if there is
anything in my soul that is keeping me from
you. Help me to overcome any obstacle, so that I
may be one with you and that your will
may be my guide every day.
will make frequent confession a habit and every day
examine my conscience to seek union and peace with the