Will I Make It To Heaven?

I’m working through reading the Bible in one year (using this excellent resource from Discipleship Journal), and I’ve just finished the Gospel of Matthew. I’m using Eugene Peterson’s The Message Remix as my text for this endeavor, for three reasons:
  • It’s a translation I’m not very familiar with, so it’s harder for me to just skip over passages thinking “Oh yeah – I’ve read this before.” It forces me to pay attention to the nuances of his translation.
  • It’s written in a contemporary style that lends itself to prolonged reading.
  • It has no footnotes, liner notes, references, maps – nothing but the text – that helps keep me focused as well.

Anyways, one of my favorite verses in the gospels had a chance to jump out at me again, so I wanted to share some thoughts on it.

Here’s the verse from The Message Remix: Jesus said,”Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to proceed you into God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 21:31-32).
The brief quote reminds me that as much as I like to think that I’ll get to heaven, the only arbiter of that judgment is God. If I have not lived my conversion to Christ through my actions, I can not claim to be an active and acting child of God. Sometimes, it will be those who we think of as less-than-desirable who will enter heaven because of their humility and their understanding of their brokennesss.
I did a retreat for a parish close to my home where both students (juniors and seniors) and adults were present (they were getting ready for their confirmation). The adults were going to celebrate the sacrament of penance and reconciliation for the first time. In talking with them (while the kids were confessing) they asked very pointed questions about what they should confess. They brought up issues that “good” Christians would not voice aloud for fear of being labeled as back-sliders or hypocrites. But these adults were cognizant of the fact that they had lead broken lives – they were honest with themselves and with each other about their need to confess. They gave me hope that their final initiation into the Catholic Church would provide us with strong witnesses about the saving power of God’s grace.
Blessings & Peace,