In today’s first reading from Ephesians 6, St. Paul talks about relationships. Relationships between parents and children, slaves and masters, God and us. He tells us that with God there is no partiality. He loves us all! In the Gospel reading, someone asks Jesus, “Will only a few be saved?” Jesus responds, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”
“Enter through the narrow gate.” Enter where? I think it’s obvious that Jesus is talking about heaven. “For many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” What will happen to those who will not be strong enough to enter? Obviously they will be going somewhere else. If it ain’t heaven, there’s only one other option. (Remember, all those souls in Purgatory are on their way to heaven.) I suppose that other option would be hell. Certainly not a sexy topic, but a necessary one.
There’s a popular notion that says that there is no hell. And if there is one, no one is in it because God is all loving and merciful and would never send anyone there. But God doesn’t send anyone to hell. We choose our own destiny. But we mustn’t dwell on that. Jesus didn’t use scare tactics. He showed us the way to heaven (Himself), but let us know that if we chose not to follow that path, we would end up somewhere else. It is our choice, every minute of every day. Choose wisely.
Father, help us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. Give us the grace to pattern our lives after Jesus. Amen.