Deacon Michael Bickerstaff: Lord, Will Those Who Are Saved Be Few?

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By Deacon Michael Bickerstaff, Integrated Catholic, August 25, 2019

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to “preach that there will be so few in heaven.” He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, there will be so few saved.

He is not alone in his belief. Some of the great theologians and saints of the Church have written the same opinion regarding the population of Heaven. But is it a fact? And whether it is a fact or speculation, how can we benefit from reflecting on the question?

How many of us have been asked our opinion on this question, posed it to others, or simply speculated in our own reflections? The answer to this question has been argued in the Christian era for 2,000 years. Why is that? Did not Jesus answer that question? Do not the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew record his answer? Well, let us see.

The Question Posed to Jesus and His Answer

“Lord, will those who are saved be few?” ….