By Maria Morera Johnson
And some one said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”
And he said to them, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
~ Luke 13:23-24
We have a merciful God who loves us abundantly and warns us of the consequences of our sins.
Jesus is a patient teacher. As we read through the New Testament and walk along with Jesus and his disciples, I can’t help but feel a part of this entourage, traveling together and learning as much as I can. I imagine listening with bated breath, hanging on every word.
The easy style of question and answer in these conversations on the road encourages a deep intimacy. When the disciples ask Jesus questions about this new Way, he always answers succinctly in parables and metaphors, not as a way to be obtuse, but in the style of the day so the disciples understand through examples and scenarios. It is still an effective way to teach.
In today’s Gospel, we encounter a teaching that we may find difficult. The disciples ask if everyone will be saved, and Jesus says no.
If I were standing among the disciples, I would be stunned into silence. What? Two thousand years later, this Gospel is as relevant as ever. In today’s culture, we pride ourselves on being “good” persons. To be clear, we should strive to practice these human virtues that make us “good people,” but that is not enough.
Jesus encourages us with this command, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate” even though it will be difficult. Then, he warns that the door will one day be closed to us. Despite “wailing and grinding of teeth,” it will be through our own fault that we are “cast out.”
It’s a sobering truth, but not without hope. Many will be saved and reclining at the table in the Kingdom. Let us strive to enter through this narrow gate with the full understanding of our salvation.
Dear Lord, I praise you and love you. Teach me to understand your ways. Give me a heart to submit to your will. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
Call to Action
Think about all the times we choose what is good for us in the moment, instead of choosing what is truly good. Don’t take the Lord’s mercy for granted. Pray the Jesus Prayer throughout your day.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
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