Pastor’s Corner 8.21.2022

Who Will be Saved?

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

Who will be saved?  That is, in essence, the question that is posed to Jesus in today’s Gospel passage.  God does desire “all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Tim 2:4) and we know that the graces of the cross are, of course, sufficient for the salvation of all who accept those graces.  But does that mean that everyone ends up in heaven?  No!

It is a common belief today that unless you are a serial killer, you’ll end up in heaven when you die.  But is that what Jesus taught and is that what the Bible says?

The Scriptures and the teaching of the Catholic Church are very clear that salvation is not automatic. We must have faith and, by our choices, accept the saving grace that the Lord offers us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 13-14). In today’s Gospel we also hear Jesus say, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough” (Lk 13:24).  So, it seems that salvation is not automatic.

Salvation requires that we accept the graces that God offers and strive, to the best of our ability, to be obedient to His commands.  The Catechism also says, “We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love Him.  But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against Him, against our neighbor or against ourselves… To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from Him forever by our own free choice” (CCC no. 1033).  Love is also necessary for salvation, “one who does not persevere in love is not saved” (CCC no 837).

Lastly our salvation requires that we trust in the mercy of God.  His grace is always greater than our sin (see Rom 5:12), but salvation is not automatic.  The Lord says we must believe, and we must love.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,