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. 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.
“For many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Jesus intimates that we will need strength to get to heaven. Why? Because the way to heaven is not the easy way. Remember those choices we make? Often the most difficult decisions we make each day are the decisions to say no to sin; to lead a life of holiness. It takes much more strength to say no to the flesh than to just give in. And this is exactly what Jesus is talking about. So where can we find this strength? Certainly not from ourselves. It is the strength that can only come from God alone. Are you willing to rely on his strength today?
Father, help us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. Give us the strength we need to live a holy life. Amen.