Jesus went through towns and villages teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?». And Jesus answered, «Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door calling: ‘Lord, open to us’. But he will say to you: ‘I do not know where you come from’. Then you will say: ‘We ate and drank with you and you taught in our streets!’. But he will reply: ‘I don't know where you come from. Away from me all you workers of evil’. You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last will be the first, and others who were first will be last!».
How can we make amends and recognise the hour of the Lord? Jesus' answer is very simple, "Strive to enter by the narrow gate. Since Jesus Himself is the Door, how can we ignore His teachings? It seems to me that Paul in the first reading helps us to understand a truth that many of us ignore.
He tells us that God has already chosen us in baptism and trusted us a mission, particularly to love others, as He has loved us. It is in this trust that He calls us. So we must keep our eyes and ears open so that we hear His call and look at the ways the Lord offers us. There we will discover that God has not only called us, but also consecrated us to be sent.
If we are aware of this call which is very personal between you and your God and this consecration in all its goodness and divine generosity, we will remain faithful to the baptismal vocation, and this fidelity to the Lord, (for me) it is already the narrow door, of which Jesus speaks to us in today's Gospel. Since God sent His only Son, not to judge us, but through Him, that the world might be saved, St. John tells us in his Gospel, I believe that God will always leave this door open to all those who truly desire to enter it and who commit themselves positively to the fulfilment of the divine will.
Action of the day: Be faithful to the mission.
«Do your best to enter by the narrow door»
Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés
Today, on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus stops for a moment and someone takes advantage of it to ask him: «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?» (Lk 13:23). It seems that, by listening to Jesus' words, the man has become exceedingly worried. It goes without saying that his doctrine is marvelous and appealing; but it entails some demands, which are not so attractive any more. But, should this man live the Gospel according to his own liking, with a “customized moral”, which would his salvation probabilities be?
Ask, therefore: «Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?». Jesus does not accept this approach. Our salvation is too serious a subject to overcome it with a calculation of probabilities. «The Lord does not wishes that any should perish but that all should come to repentance» (2Pet 3:9).
Jesus replies: «Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you will stand outside; then you will knock at the door calling: ‘Lord, open to us’. But he will say to you: ‘I do not know where you come from’» (Lk 13:24-25). How can these sheep belong to his own flock if they do not even follow the Good Shepherd, nor do they abide by the Magistery of the Church? «Away from me all you workers of evil. You will weep and grind your teeth when you see Abraham and Jacob (…), and you yourselves left outside» (Lk 13:27-28).
Neither Jesus nor the Church are afraid of tarnishing our God Father's image when they reveal the mystery of hell. As the Catechism of the Church asserts, «The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion» (n. 1036).
Let's stop “being too clever by half” and to make so many calculations. Let's hurry up to enter by the narrow gate, restarting as many times as needed, and trusting in His mercy. St. Josemaria says «All that which worries you for the moment, is of relative importance. What is of absolute importance is that you be happy, that you be saved».