The gospel’s tone might surprise us because the Lord seems to be sending people away (Lk 13: 22-30).  When a person knocks on the door of the master’s house and asks to enter, the voice from inside shouts “I do not know you.”  When people say that were in the company of the master, the latter replies, “Depart from me!”

Is the Lord telling us that indeed those who will be saved are few and that it is difficult to enter heaven?  Where is the welcoming tone of the Lord that says, “Come, follow me.”

The gospel actually destroys the idea that heaven is the exclusive domain of a few privileged souls.  Jesus was going to Jerusalem, and while passing through the towns and villages, he was teaching.  He was inviting people to experience the Father’s love. He was opening to them the door that leads to eternal life. So, it is not Jesus, not the Father, who limits entry into the kingdom.

Jesus however is telling the people how much they have ignored his invitation. They chose the wide doors that lead to destruction, rather than the narrow door towards life. They have heard the preaching, seen the miracles, encountered the Son of God, and yet they themselves refused to take all these seriously.

Today many people find themselves already blessed with Christian faith. They are not lacking in the blessings that come to them through the Word of God and the service of the Church. But they prefer to listen not the message of the Lord and instead to the sweet promises of an easy life, a comfortable life, a life free of responsibilities and commitments. 

It is not God who closes the door, but people who refuse God who shut the door behind them.

Let us pray that as the door of heaven is flung open before us, as the door of mercy beckons to us, we may also have an open heart to follow the Lord and not other voices and influences in the world.