“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” is the question that Jesus is asked in today’s Gospel. However if we listen very closely we realize that He never answers it. Instead, He does what He often does- He capitalizes on the opportunity presented by the question to teach his disciples, and us, a lesson.  Basically, Jesus is saying to us today that asking how many or how few will be saved is not a relevant question because that number is largely determined by us.  The real question, as He puts it, is whether or not we will be strong enough to enter it? And what does He mean by that? Basically, He is saying that on any given day there are many, many choices that we have the opportunity to make, there are many “gates” that we have the opportunity to enter, but there is only one gate that leads to eternal life. Of course, we know that in another place, He teaches that He himself is that gate which leads to life.  The problem is that these other gates, which we might correctly refer to as temptations, are rather wide in comparison to the narrow gate that leads to eternal life.  They also might tend to be little more glossy, more brightly decorated, and seem to have lots more people going through them and are easier to go through because of their girth and glitter.  The narrow gate is not advertised as well as the others, does not seem so attractive, requires us to go through in single file and does not allow for a whole lot of baggage, if any at all to go through with us.  But it (He) is the only gate that leads to eternal life.  We have to be strong enough to reject the wide gates that are presented to us each day of our lives. This indeed is very difficult to do. But Jesus is saying to us that if we are strong enough to reject the temptations of the world, we will eventually find the narrow gate that will lead us to life. That indeed is Him.  The gate is narrow but it is open wide open-open to any one who makes the choices and sacrifices that are necessary to go through it.  The question is not whether there are few or many that will be saved but are we strong enough to choose the narrow, but wide open gate.

AuthorCathy Remick