“Strive to enter by the narrow door.” When the young man, out of curiosity, asked Jesus if many were to be saved, Jesus was silent. Instead, he took the opportunity to teach on what was truly important and necessary. He said “strive” a word which in the Greek implies serious effort almost to the point of agony.
There almost seems to be a kind of tension between God’s desire for everyone to be saved and the requirements for salvation. But God’s call has always been linked to the call to faithfully observe the requirements of the covenant. Christ says,“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
The gospel today reminds us that salvation is not a given, we cannot just drift into heaven; it is not a matter of privilege or of belonging to a chosen race. It doesn’t even matter if you “ate and drank in his company.” What matters is that we strive to do the Father’s will. Doing the Father’s will is what matters because it makes us brothers and sisters and mothers to Christ. It is the difference between doing our thing and hoping God will bless it, and truly allowing God’s affairs to be our affairs, to make Christ’s interests our own.
The catechism quoting from St. John Eudes says: “We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church…For it is in the plan of the Son of God to make us and the whole Church partake in his mysteries and to extend them to and continue them in us and in his whole Church. This is his plan for fulfilling his mysteries in us.” (CCC. 521)