Today's Gospel (Luke 13: 22-30) is a teaching from Jesus that we should "Strive to enter through the narrow gate". This may seem to be at odds with our image of a loving Jesus who is ready to welcome everyone to the kingdom. When I read this passage, it brings to mind the idea that we all will have to stand before God as individuals. No one else can get me into heaven. Jesus died to save us all, but each one of us has the freedom to accept or reject this salvation. And it is by our actions that we make this choice.
As much as we might like to think that membership in a particular religion or denomination; regular attendance at a church, synagogue, or mosque; or association with a particular charitable organization will be our "ticket" to heaven, it is instead our daily actions that count. God will be judging us by how we treat others - the least among us - and that is not a corporate but rather an individual judgement we will face.
We cannot expect to be swept up in the crowd as we approach the heavenly gate. God's love and mercy are wide, but every one of us will need to answer for what we did with our time on earth and how we served Him.
As He said, being first or last in the line is not what's important. Rather, we need to be concerned with how we are treating all the others in line with us as we approach the narrow gate!