The greatest pain of a person on the day of judgment will be seeing him left out of the Kingdom which was prepared by the Father for the just. Jesus says: “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out”. The three patriarchs are ‘fathers’ of faith, who surrendered themselves to the will of God and chose the narrow door to enter the Kingdom. The question asked to Jesus, as he made his way to Jerusalem was: “Lord, will only a few be saved?” Now in the present scenario, one would think of being saved from Corona Virus infection. Many have lost their lives. So, one would be happy, if he has survived the pandemic. Or if, someone is operated upon and has survived and is now healed,he might think that he is saved by the efforts of the doctors. However, in the bible, the question of salvation is not in the physical sense, but rather, in the spiritual sense. It means, to be saved from God’s judgment.
Jesus was going to die in Jerusalem to make everyone who believes in him righteous and lead them to salvation. They are going to be spared from the wrath of God as he took the punishment upon himself. Salvation is an open door. But not everyone will be saved. Everyone needs to be watchful and alert and make every effort. It calls for struggle to enter the Kingdom. Some think that salvation is going to be easy. It is not just enough to say that Jesus is ‘Saviour’, but rather, through both, faith and good works can one truly enter the Kingdom. Confession is only the beginning of the way to the narrow door. To enter through it, one has to really struggle. It is a call to be a true disciple of Christ. Jesus says: “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved” (Jn 10:9). One who lives his life in accordance with the teachings of Christ, is the one who will be saved. Jn 14: 6 says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. It means that the Kingdom which the Father has prepared from the time of creation will be given to those who please the Father.
Some begin to write a new gospel, based on their intellectual reasoning that we are in a pluralistic world and so there is truth everywhere. Faith is a step ahead of reason. Are we also denying that Jesus is the truth!There cannot be two truths. Truth can be only one. God is the truth. As Jesus says that he is the truth, let us not make any compromise.The apostles were ready to give courageous witness to Jesus and were willing to sacrifice their lives for the truth that they have found in Jesus. They died for the gospel truth. The Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles. These days we are celebrating the feast of the great apostles, Peter and Paul and the apostle of India, St. Thomas. They were truly convinced about what they were preaching and what they were dying for, and have entered through the narrow door. People might choose to save their lives and prefer luxury, comforts, wealth and pleasures of this world. Jesus wants his followers to deny oneself, take up the cross and follow him. Jesus says: “for those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it” (cf. Lk 9:24). To go to heaven is not easy. We are saved by the hard work of Jesus Christ through his death on the Cross. To follow his way andbe willing to give up one’s life as did the apostles,we need to be different from the rest of the world. There will be a time when the opportunity for salvation will be closed. The owner of the house will get up and close the door. None of us know when we are going to die. In the end, those who are denied entry will be gnashing the teeth. They will be truly angry for not having found an entry. People who were ashamed of Jesus and his teachingsand have not given witness to Jesus would not find an entry in the Kingdom of God. It is an open invitation. Even though the door is narrow, people from all over the world are invited and many will enter the Kingdom. The Jews who were invited to believe in God, would be the first to be denied an entry for rejecting him. What about us as Christians? Let us wake up to our salvation call and make a lifelong agonising effort to fight against the sinfulness and tell Jesus, ‘Lord, I need you’. Let us be united with Jesus and be able to say, ‘it should be no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’. Amen