Will only a few people be saved?

Published October 27, 2021, 12:03 AM

by Manila Bulletin


At a certain point in life, one asks this question: “Will I be saved?” This is not just in reference to life’s dangers, problems, temptations, or even the possibility of losing one’s very own life, but to the fact—or dread—of perpetual extinction. For as Vatican Council II states, “[Man] rightly follows the intuition of his heart when he abhors and repudiates the utter ruin and total disappearance of his own person. He rebels against death because he bears in himself an eternal seed which cannot be reduced to sheer matter” (Gaudium et Spes,18).

The Jews have a firm foundation in thinking of being saved in the other life because of their being a Chosen People. But this is not automatic. Even the fact that Jesus did his ministry among them is no guarantee of salvation. They have to enter through the “narrow gate.” They have to cease to do evil and learn to do good. They have to listen to the warning of John the Baptist: “Produce good fruits as evidence of repentance; and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’ ” (Lk 3:8).

As Jesus points out, God is not a property of one people, or of any ethnic, political, or cultural group. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 781) declares: “At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness.”

GOSPEL • Lk 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.