That’s a good question, isn’t?
How many will be saved?
What do you think?
A thousand? or A milion? Maybe A bilion? Maybe Someone will shout more? Hmm? Just look around - and think how many of us will be saved?
Some people try to speculate the number, even the exact number of the saved.
But when you try to see what Jesus was saying - You’ll discover that He doesn’t give a precise anwswer.
The Lord says that the gate is wide open with completely free entry into the Kingdom.
But one thing is here - that gate is narrow.
So rather than our trying to figure how many will fit through, we should make sure that we will fit through.
It is always tempting to be so concerned and even outraged about the state of morality around us that we pay little attention to the state:
of our soul, our life of our marriage or even of my priethood and religious life.
The first word of the Lord to us today is that when we are critical of the scandals about which we read and how many people are failing to enter the door, we should make sure that we are entering through the door ourselves.
Because the door is narrow, it means that it takes effort to get in.
We have to get rid of a great deal of baggage to enter. The baggage like hatred, greed, jealousy, lust and to get rid of everything else that weighs us down.
Let’s ask ourselves - Can we fit through? We, not my spouse, children, my neighbour.
Am I in spiritual shape?
We know the remarkable difference in our life when we get into physical shape. We become more efficient. We have more energy and even we think more clearly.
You know the last week I participated in the walking pilgrimage from Great Meadows - New Jersey to American Shrine in Pensylvania. It is the four days walk, around 60 miles. One day we had our stop at the football field near to the church. To get some food we had to go through the narrow path - the bushes and the trees were around us. So we could just walk trough it. We had to wait in one line and walk one by one. No one else could use that path. Maybe could - but who would like to have a meeting with Poison Ivy. I don’t!
The Narrow Gate! It is not the same with the spiritual journey! Our spiritual shape helps so much. The energy of our soul we find in the God’s grace, in our prayer life, in the sacraments.
Today’s Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that life itself can get rid of some of the rough edges. We can call it also the discipline of the Lord, the trials we face so many times might help us so much to get a spiritual shape.
Look, we are able to give so many examples here.
For for instance it is hard to be self-centered when there is someone at home who needs constant attention. It is hard to be arrogant when a person is facing some difficulties or is hit by illness.
Life itself can put you and me into spiritual shape.
So when God sends something into our life or allows it to happen - the person of faith knows that these have the grace to build spiritual muscle and make us ready for the Kingdom.
British journalist Malcom Muggeridge was an agnostic for most of His life and during his early years a Communist sympathiser. In November 1982, he explained in “the Times” the reasons for His conversion to the Catholic Faith. He was captivated by the faithfulness of the Church to her moral teachings. He was impressed by the fact that, many times, the church was fighting alone in here defence of moral values. But the real push to his conversion was given by a small nun. Blessed (soon Saint) Teresa of Calcutta, who was “living the Gospel in real life”. Words cannot express hom much I owe her”. He said in an interview. “She showed me Christianity in action. She showed me the power of love. She showed me how one loving person can start a tidal wave of love that can spread to the entire world.”
My dear Brothers and Sisters - the Liturgy of the Word challenges us today.
We are asked
Are we becoming fit for entry by our spiritual life. **Are we using the opportunities and graces given us in the Church by Jesus. **
I can assure you - Through our following the God’s Word, we will fit through the door, through that narrow gate. God’s grace will make it even wider for us - if that will be needed.