I’m grateful for a recent homily by Bishop Robert Barron who gave some great insights about this Gospel.
I’m sure this is a difficult time for many. My brother has brought his oldest daughter to college. Tomorrow he bids farewell, leaves her behind and drives 10 hours home. Wow.
Many worries – how will she do? Will she make good decisions? Easy to go off on wrong path!
Jesus is asked – how many be saved?
For my parent’s generation, this was an important question. You want to get to heaven and avoid hell. When I was young, I was on the confession line most Saturdays. I was taught to avoid mortal sin. I was taught with love, with a little dose of fear.
Things began to shift when I got to Catholic high school. We were taught that God is love. And because God is all merciful, many began to assume that almost everyone gets to heaven. The problem is – some now have the belief that it does not matter what you do – it makes no difference if you go to Mass or not. Many became indifferent to spiritual things.
Jesus is asked – how many will be saved?
Unlike the Jehovah Witnesses who talk about 144,000, Jesus does not offer a number, but: _ Strive to enter through the narrow gate!
This is not an easy path!
Did Michael Phelps swim coach tell him – just take a few laps. Or how about Simon Biles - just jump around a bit, you will get the hang of it?
No, they each had a goal and were taught how to achieve that goal – DISCIPLINE! A narrow gate!
How many will win Gold Medal? Don’t worry about it - you get to work. Do what you are supposed to – become the person you were meant to be.
Our Gold Medal is to get to heaven – to share in the very life of God – let God’s grace invade every part of our lives - not an easy path.
We know our disciplines – prayer, Mass, Sacraments, the Bible, acts of charity, acts of mercy, live a moral life.
So, how will my niece do in college? In many ways (not all), it is up to her – study, discipline, keeping good friends, taking care of herself. The narrow gate.
And how about us? Stay on that path of faith, of goodness, of holiness, of love, of mercy – the narrow gate that leads to Eternal Life!!!