Gospel Luke 13:22-30

“Sir, will there be only a few saved?”

Questions surrounding the nature of salvation have plagued the Church from the very beginning. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is confronted with this very question, ‘will many be saved?’

His answer can be a bit confronting. The common conception of Jesus as the perennial ‘nice-guy’ does not really correlate well with his answer.

While the Church always prays and hopes for all to be saved, and trusts in the universal salvific will of God, there is always the cognisance of the radical freedom which God bestows upon those whom he loves, together with the fact that God is at once both perfectly just, and perfectly merciful.

Pope Benedict XVI described this paradoxical understanding as such:

‘God is justice and creates justice. This is our consolation and our hope. And in his justice there is also grace. This we know by turning our gaze to the crucified and risen Christ. Both these things—justice and grace—must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value.’ [Spe Salvi, 44]

We know that our salvation has been won for us, but that we need to cooperate with this grace, to ‘work it out… with fear and trembling.’

The journey of sanctification is worked out in the drama of the minutiae of every day.

How do I show love in each situation?

Point to Ponder

“He who made you without your consent does not justify you without your consent. He made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without you willing it.”

– Augustine’s Sermon 169, 13 as listed on p. 29 of The Faith of the Early Fathers)