Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus answered them: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough”

This was Jesus’ response to the six million dollar question: “What does it take to be saved, or how many will be saved?” Will God be a harsh judge, and only the elite will be saved? Or will he be easy going and just let everybody into heaven? Even though we believe in a loving and merciful God, especially in this year of mercy, nothing in the Scriptures indicates that everyone is going to get a free ticket to heaven.  Thus Jesus tells us today: strive to enter through the narrow gate. So while salvation is a gift, based on the redemption won for us in Jesus’ death and Resurrection, we still have to do our part. The practice of our Catholic faith, in church and out of it, helps to be ready to enter through the narrow gate.  Living by Gospel values: justice and charity, mercy and integrity, chastity and honesty, this daily living out of our faith is how we strive to enter through the narrow gate. Not judging others, yet striving to live in a way so as to ourselves avoid harsh judgment in the next life, this also helps us be ready to pass through the narrow gate.