Why the Narrow Door?
Did Jesus die to save only a select few or did he die for the whole of mankind? The Mass readings this Sunday tell us the answer: salvation is available to everyone, not just the elite few. When Jesus said this, he shocked the Jews. They had assumed that they would be the only ones in heaven. But Jesus warned that if they thought like that they themselves would have no places in heaven. Because of their arrogance and snobbishness, non-Jews would take their places and they, the chosen people, would be on the outside, looking in.
The lesson for us Catholics is obvious. Being baptised or regular Mass attendance does not guarantee our salvation. We must go through, like Jesus said, the narrow door. The narrow door is every moral decision that we make. It is when the road splits into two. The correct road – the narrow road – takes us to heaven. The wrong road – the wide and easy road – leads us astray. Going through the narrow door will cost us. It may mean sacrificing our financial security or even our loved ones. We may find ourselves in a desert, hungry and thirsty, with very little peace of mind. But the trials and tribulations of life are not signs of the absence of God but rather signs of his presence. God allows challenges to come into our lives so that we can reach our full potential and grow closer to him.
Our faith does not tell us exactly why we must undergo suffering, but our faith does give us the strength to get through the narrow road and into eternal happiness with the Lord.