Straight the gate, narrow the wayLuke 13:22-30:
And he went through the cities and towns teaching, and making his journey to Jerusalem. And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. But when the master of the house shall be gone in, and shall shut the door, you shall begin to stand without, and knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us. And he answering, shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are.
Then you shall begin to say: We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. And he shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And there shall come from the east and the west, and the north and the south; and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold, they are last that shall be first; and they are first that shall be last.
Here Jesus deals with the harsh reality that not only is everyone not going to Heaven, but in fact relatively few (compared to the people who could go) are going there at all. This isn't because God doesn't want people to be with Him, and it isn't because God is a meanie. The reason that so few people are going to Heaven is because many have chosen a path outside of the one that God ordained-a path separated from God.
God respects our choices in this life, and if we choose to live a life separated from God, He will respect that choice and allow us to be separated from Him for all eternity. That is, in fact, the real definition of Hell: The final and eternal separation from God. The very reason that the Bible describes Hell in such stark and painful terms is because it is a state of existence that has no love-it has no love because God is not there and God is love.
Several people have told me over the years that they do not believe God would send anyone to Hell. They are right, He will not send anyone to Hell. Rather, people send themselves there because they have made the choice that they want to be separated from God. In their desire for freedom, they have enslaved themselves to sin. They have adopted in their minds the notion that living a life free of God's law will make them free. As surely as liberty cannot survive without law to buffer it, our individual freedom is worthless without Divine Law to keep us from becoming slaves to our own desires.
God is ever-merciful and forgiving, and he wants all people to "enter through the narrow gate." The way through the narrow gate is through the Body and Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. As the map guides the traveler on the right road, Christ guides us on the narrow way and through the narrow gate.
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world!