By the end of the journey, we should be transformed and different than when we began. Whatever difficulties or setbacks develop during our journey are not punishment but the Lord’s loving way of teaching us and preparing us for future challenges and for our heavenly salvation.

In the Gospel Jesus says even though “the door” to the kingdom may be narrow, it is wide enough for all who wish to pass through. It is a matter of committing ourselves to God’s kingdom by lives of goodness and love. Jesus challenges us to make the choice.

Our salvation comes from following Jesus – striving to know him better and obeying his teaching. Jesus is calling us to a personal relationship with him as his disciples, and this is demanding.

It is simply not enough to love God with our heads. Routine Christianity – membership in the church or frequent parish involvement – will not automatically gain heaven for us. We need to live the graces of our baptism and the other sacraments with conviction, love and burning zeal – discipleship in the shadow of Christ’s cross.