Want to go to Heaven? Get in line … Sunday, August 25

If a deacon participates, he reads the Gospel....

Being there is one thing. Taking part is another.

The Gospel of the Lord … Luke 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.  Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

~

Have you ever wondered if you’ll make it to Heaven? I think most of us do, at some point in time. I’d think that the fact we’re concerned enough to think about it would tell us something.

From the above scripture, given the question posed to Jesus, folks were wondering about just this sort of thing even then. And what does Jesus say? What answer does He give? “Strive to enter … “, and for those who don’t strive, “Depart from me, all you evildoers!”

Lots of folks will have excuses. “We ate and drank in your company.” … “I went to Mass and received communion.” … “You taught in our streets.” … “I listened to all the sermons, heard the Gospel preached.” But did these people “strive to enter”? Please don’t misunderstand. I’m certainly not endorsing scrupulosity here, because it would be easy to go from here in that direction. But wherever a person’s heart is, well, that’s where their treasure is. Lip service is one thing, heart service is something else. Heart service is striving and not just going through the motions.

The best way to get to Heaven? Live like you intend to go there, and the going will take care of itself. Strive. Striving most assuredly includes Mass, communion, listening to the Gospel (and actually hearing it) and more. The “more” is doing the right thing for the right reason. And there’s the striving. The heart service.

In all of this don’t worry about your place in line. Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first. Jesus will take care of the seating arrangements in Heaven. Our part is to live our lives as though we’re in the line.

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Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 3:00 am  Comments Off on Want to go to Heaven? Get in line … Sunday, August 25