A question which has often worried Christians through the ages, is “will I be saved? Can I be sure?”
This passage, which is a collection of sayings by Jesus at different times, gives us an answer. In one word, it is “struggle!”
Work hard at your salvation, as hard as an athlete strives for the Olympic gold – the simile here comes from St Paul. Don’t presume you are entitled to salvation on the basis of birth or belonging.
It’s a commonplace for Christians and others too to feel themselves “chosen,” as “sons of the soil,” as “the elect of God” – all various forms of entitlement, which promise benefits without effort, special treatment.
Whether we call ourselves “children of Abraham” or claim that “we sat at table with you” or any sort of close relationship, it’s the same. But no one enters “the narrow door” to eternal life merely on the basis of good connections, only if he or she has worked for it.
And what does working for it mean ? It means living one’s faith. It means behaving as if a personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in your world. It means defining oneself as a disciple of Christ, who takes the Master’s precepts to heart.
When this happens, one’s transformation has already begun. The gift of salvation has been received and treasured. It will come to fullness in life after life.