The Narrow Door
As Jesus was passing through certain villages on His way to Jerusalem, a stranger asked Him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Jesus refrained from giving a specific number like many Christian denominations do these days, but, rather, insisted that they give their best.
We need to see this question and Jesus’ answer in the context of His mission journey. Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, where He knew, He would be sacrificed for the salvation of all the people. He would become a mediator between God and humanity. Salvation is not about the number – “in His Father’s house there are many dwelling places” (Jn 14: 2) – but it is about responding to the saving grace of God.
Jesus warns us to not take our salvation for granted, “strive to enter through the narrow door, for many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough” (Lk 13: 24). Then what should we do? Jesus says make yourself small. The door is small, so you must also be small. Jesus wants His disciples to shed all the excess they have before they reach the narrow door. So, join the spiritual gym, burn out the desires to be great and powerful; proud and egoistic; dominating and subjugating; … “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3).
Once the door is closed, many who could not enter that narrow door will stand outside and cry for attention. They are the ones who failed to give witness to Christ by standing for life, truth, and justice. If you listen to what they say, you will realize that they were the ones who listened to Jesus in their streets, who ate with Him and knew Him well, but then they took Him for granted.
Jesus’ response is simple, “I do not know where you are from, depart from me all you evil doers” (Lk 13: 27). It is now too late; they have missed their opportunity. This resonates the message of the psalmist who warns in Psalm 6:9, “away from me, all who do evil”. The only way to avoid this situation is to let Jesus know who we are. We should let ourselves be known to the Lord for our selfless love of neighbour and for our moral stand in Christ.
Once you wiggle through the narrow door you will be invited to the heavenly banquet, where you will find people, “come from east and west and north and south” (Lk 13.29). We do not know, if they really met Jesus, listened to Him, or even followed Him. The only thing we know for sure is that they made it through the narrow door. So, strive to enter through the narrow door.
Jesus is the door for His sheep (Jn. 10: 7). The door is narrow because it leads through Calvary.
-Father Ranjan D’Sa OCD