Getting to heaven is not a question of “how many.”  Getting to heaven is not a question of “who.”  Getting to heaven is a question of “how.”  The Jews around the Lord Jesus asked many questions. And they had reason to ask, to clarify, and to confirm. 
For they believed that, they as a people, were destined to be God’s favorite forever.  They believed that those outside their gates were treading the wrong path, while they were entitled to a special preference when it comes to salvation.
Jesus leads his hearers to the right question.  He came to lead people to the heart of the Father. He came to earth to open the gates that lead to eternal life with God. He knew the right question when it comes to salvation. It is not “how many” or “who.” It is a question of “how.” How does one attain the heavenly reward?
The Lord teaches:  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”  This narrow gate is the secret recipe for heaven.  Many will try but will not be strong enough, the Lord adds.  Now, this is not the only mention of the narrow gate in the Scriptures. In Matthew 7, Jesus describes a spacious gate that leads to destruction, and a narrow gate that leads to safety and bliss.
It is good that even today, people contemplate heaven and desire with all their hearts to one day know the reality behind the promise.  However our quest for heaven makes us forget the important thing about heaven, as we get entangled with debates on affiliations, rights and privileges, or having the right connections or formulas.
For Jesus it is all too simple – try the narrow path.  It is through the narrow gate that one will get to heaven. It is by way of the Cross, that one will enter into the most profound experience of God. In life, we need to go through perseverance, patience and undeterred commitment to the values of heaven in the midst of many trials.
Now, this is not easy to accept.  If you have the wide road, why travel with inconvenience?  We are an impatient people in the midst of easy solutions and quick answers. But heaven is not spelled g-o-o-g-l-e. Heaven is spelled c-r-o-s-s.
My friend Ferdie was shocked to hear that he was stricken with liver cancer.  Like others, he could frantically buy his treatment from the best hospitals.  Instead, he prayed and decided to live joyfully, calmly and ordinarily as before.  He was busy with parish involvement, with an apostolate for poor young boys, with spiritual formation, with his family life, until that day last week when he made it to heaven.  All his friends concur that his man, who did not shun the cross, the narrow path, is a real modern-day saint in heaven.
Is there a narrow path you are afraid to take, or are avoiding to pass through?  You will not walk alone if you ask Jesus to take you by the hand and lead you pass through the trial and into the victory of heavenly gains. Ask the right question.  Enter the right gate!
Bro. Ferdie Fuentes, after the cross, heaven!
welcome to heaven…
(in memoriam)