As He continues His fateful journey to Jerusalem, Jesus answers the question on how many will be saved by showing how to enter into salvation and how urgent it is to strive now, before the Master close the door. Jesus wants us to ask the question: “Are you prepared to be saved, choosing the narrow gate?” The readings tell us that salvation is universal (First Reading), but it needs total commitment from us, even to the point of accepting pain and suffering in the process (Second Reading and Gospel).
The non-Catholic doctrine on salvation: Once saved, we are always saved, in spite of our future sins, and even apostasy. We are saved by the shedding of the blood of Jesus and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. They teach that we are saved by faith alone, even if it is accompanied by inaction.
Catholic teaching: Salvation is a past, present and future event, and we may lose it or regain it many times, depending on the number of sins committed, their severity, and how we avail of the sacraments in order to regain the grace which enables us to do good works. It is a gift from the Lord and we have to fully cooperate with Him for it to be given to us. It is a process with many steps: Baptism, actual grace, faith, good works, participation in the sacraments, penance, indulgences and keeping the commandments. If lost, it is regained through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which only a Catholic priest can administer. After living a life of fidelity to God, we hope to hear the words, “Good and faithful servant, you were faithful in little things, enter into the joy of your Master.”