Lk 13, 22-30
Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself standing outside knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.”
Then you will start saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets,” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from; away from me, all evil doers!” ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrown out. And people from east and west, from north and south, will come and sit down at the feast in the kingdom of God. ‘Look, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’
Are there only a few who are saved?
The Lord answers this serious question directly! But he makes it clear that there is a difference between God’s general will for salvation and whether man has his own conditions to enter the kingdom of God! So we must not feel safe in the wrong way and therefore neglect our efforts! The Lord tells us this very clearly today! All our strength is needed to remain in the grace that has been given to us!
It is very helpful to keep reminding us of these clear words of Jesus, so that we do not slacken in our way with Christ and are so easily grasped by a stream of indifference! The natural optimism about God’s goodness is not enough, but it is necessary for us to make a clear decision not to prefer anything to the Lord, to work seriously on our mistakes, to practice the works of mercy, and to prove if we are on the right path!
It is true that we love God primarily and that all our efforts are aimed at looking at his honor and thus giving the answer to our love! But we should also seek our own salvation “with fear and trembling” (cf. Phil 2:12), so that we do not stand before closed doors! In various passages of the Scriptures, the Lord draws our attention to this possibility! This is certainly not done to frighten us, but to make us vigilant! That is why these clear words are accompanied by an invitation to make every effort to our salvation! It is not enough, then, to have known the Lord and to have eaten and drunk with him, but we are called to go all the way of repentance and to deepen it daily! That is why the Church must not neglect the doctrine of the last things, which shows us the seriousness of our life decision! Even if God’s “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2,13) and is willing to forgive man for everything, it can only be effective if it is bound to the truth! The mercy of God cannot be transformed into a general human compassion, which then forgets the invitation to repentance!
The image of Jesus must not be transformed into a sweet image, as if the Lord teachings could be changed according to the wishes of men! Those who do this are false prophets who propagate a false image of God and deceive people!
It is the spirit of the Antichrist who wants to convince man that it is natural to follow our inclinations! The Antichrist will support a religion that allows anything and insults those as rigorists who hold on to the truth and embrace the Lord’s repentance demand!
It is necessary not to ignore such strong words of the Lord! They are not contrary with divine mercy! We must never get used to sin and take the poison of the relativization of sin! The mild Lord, who always comes to meet us with his love and offers us his forgiveness, is the same who also impressively warns us not to neglect the way of repentance, so that we do not receive his grace in vain (cf. 2 Cor 6:1)!