Jesus told his disciples that the entrance to heaven is like a “narrow gate,” not because God has made salvation so difficult, but because people find it difficult to recognise their sinfulness and accept God’s mercy, Pope Francis said.
Jesus is “the gateway to salvation,” the pope said on August 26 before reciting the Angelus with visitors in St Peter’s Square.
“The gate that is Jesus is never closed – this gate is never closed, it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges,” he said.
The pope said he knew some people would be skeptical and say, “But Father, surely I am excluded, because I am a great sinner. I have done so many things in my life.”
But the pope insisted, “No, you are not excluded.”
Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading, Luke 13:22-30, the pope said the narrow gate that was Jesus was not the entrance to “a torture chamber.”
But Jesus asks “us to open our hearts to him, to recognise ourselves as sinners, in need of his salvation, his forgiveness, his love, needing the humility to accept his mercy and to be renewed by him.”