Jesus Christ has won the victory over sin and death through the Cross and Resurrection. That victory is for all of us.
The Lord desires all of us to be saved. However, each of us has to accept that victory by choosing to follow Jesus instead of rejecting the victory through sin. That is why Jesus challenges us to follow the "narrow way" in the Gospel passage at Mass this weekend. Jesus is asked: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" (Luke 13:23).
Instead of saying everyone is saved no matter what they do - that's the heresy of universalism - Jesus proclaims, "Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough" (Luke 13:24).
In order to be strong enough to follow Christ, grow in virtue, avoid sin, and share in the victory of salvation, we need to train.
The second reading at Mass from the Letter to the Hebrews describes training in discipleship as discipline. Every challenge we face is a chance to be trained.
Trained to rely on God.
Trained to be humble.
Trained to choose the good even when it's difficult.
Trained to love as Christ loves us.
This training is never over until our eyes are closed for the last time.
Let us not delay or grow weary. The victory is won; we just have to accept it again today. The training is hard but worth it. Our salvation is at hand.
Be not afraid!
Saint John Paul II, pray for us!