Our Christian faith speaks of the universality of salvation: God wants the salvation of all peoples and that Jesus Christ died for the salvation of all. 

Someone asked Jesus: “Lord, will only a few will be saved?’” His indirect answer: ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able’”(Lk 13:22-24; cf. Mt 7;13). On his way to Jerusalem to be crucified, Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God, which is “at hand” (Mt 4:17; cf. Mk 1:14). The Kingdom of God is within us as divine grace and love; outside us, as work for justice, peace and the integrity of creation, and in front of us as God coming to our life every day, and especially at the end of our own time and at the end of the world: God wants us all to go to heaven, however, the gate to enter heaven is narrow,and although many are invited, “few are chosen” (Mt 22:14).

Will we all be saved? Only God knows.However, it might not be so! The Lord himself speaks of the possibility of not entering heaven. Jesus says: “Every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit”, and “is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Mt 7:17, 19).


(1) Those who pray but do not do the will of the Father – gooddeeds included (cf. Mt 7:25): “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).

(2) Those who ate and drank with him but did not share with others, to whom Jesus will say: “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, evildoers” (Lk 13:26-27; cf. Mt 7:21-23). Certainly, they ate the Bread of Life but did not break it to share it with others by serving them in love.

(3) Still others will say: “Lord, we listened to your teaching”; but the Lord will tell them: “You listened to my words but – like stupid men – did not act upon them” (Mt 7:26).

(4)Another possibility: those who failed to share something with the poor and needy. Jesus: “Depart from me, into the eternal fire… for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger…, naked …, sick…, in prison,” and you did not care for me at all. So, “just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Mt 25:41-45).

We are totally sure of one thing:  No one will be able to say to God: “Lord, You did not help me enough.” Certainly, the Lord God helps us always much more than enough. He provides us always with the needed grace to do good, fight evil and be saved, but does not force us to give our (generally required) cooperation, because He respects the freedom He himself gave us.  


(1) We practice our hopeful Christian faith: we follow Jesus, the only Way to heaven, that is, we imitate his life and practice his teachings,at least basically (we are sinners).

(2) We witness Christian love, or charity, which is the virtue of virtues, for the life of Christ is centered on love, a love that implies love of God, love of all neighbors, love of ourselves, and love of creation, that is, responsible care of our common home.  Love, or charity (God’s love in us) is universal not selective, and therefore includes also our enemies, and is authentically true, just and free.

(3) We love all, and therefore we respect and promote the dignity of all and their equal fundamental rights, starting with the right to life. Thus, human life ought to be respected from the moment of conception (against abortion) to natural death (against euthanasia and the death penalty), and in between life and death (a dignified life for all).

(4) We love all neighbors, principally those most in need (the poor, the sick, the marginalized), because it is humanly good and particularly because Jesus practiced universal love and a preferential love for them and all the abandoned in the world.

(5) We carry our personal cross following Christ. Following Jesus includes necessarily, following hisWay of the Cross. Remember Jesus’ words: “If you want to be my disciple deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24). The cross is part and parcel of our fragile earthly life. If we bear our personal cross patiently, hopefully and out of love, the cross becomes light, even – like for the saints – joyful. Furthermore, love of neighbors entails, too, helping – according to our possibilities – those around us carry their heavy cross. 


Our faith tells us that there are three different states where people who pass away may go: heaven, purgatory, or hell. We hope to go to heaven “to be with Christ,” and with those who die in God’s grace and friendship, and need no further purification: the saints (cf. CCC 1023-1029). We might pass by purgatory on our way to heaven, and be among those who die in the state of grace and basic friendship with God, but still need to undergo some kind of purification (cf. CCC 1030-1032). How about hell? Our faith, the doctrine of our Church affirms the existence of hell, which means the “state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed [due to mortal sin without repentance and without the acceptance of God’s merciful love)” (CCC 1033; cf. Ib. 1033-1037). Until the last breath, however, purgatory and heaven are possible, if one cooperates with God’s grace and love, which are always available.

Is it difficult to follow Jesus, his way of merciful and forgiving love? Yes, it is. By ourselves, we cannot do it: we are God’s beggars, weak and fragile. So, we go to the ones who can and are most willing to help us. We pray: above all, to God our Father, though his Son Jesus our Savior, in the Holy Spirit our Advocate. Every day, we ask the good Lord to give us our daily bread, that is, the grace we need every day to be faithful, hopeful and loving – and joyful. Also, we go to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, who is our best intercessor before Jesus. We go to St. Joseph and the saints of our devotion to ask for help. The Church “implores the mercy of God, who does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance’” (2 Pete 3:9; CCC 1037).

Wonderful, the play of Paul Claudel entitled The Annunciation of Mary. The protagonist is Violaine, a beautiful young girl who is blind, and is purity, innocence, and who trusts totally in God. One day, giving an innocent kiss to a leper, Violaine contracts leprosy, which she considers a blessing. Mara, her only sister, who is married and not happy, asked her sister: Are you sure of your salvationViolaine answers: I am of his [God’s] goodness.”  

  Will you be saved? Will I be saved? Truly, the question must not worry us, for we are in good hands: in God the Father’s merciful hands!