“WILL ONLY A FEW BE SAVED?” (Luke 13:23)

⏰Mondaypresentation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (21 Nov 2016 – Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

????Rev 14:1-3, 4b-5; Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 (R.v.6); Luke 21:1-4

????”WILL ONLY A FEW BE SAVED?” (Luke 13:23)

A misreading of Rev 14 has always created confusion for people. It talks about a vision of 144,000 who are marked with the seal of the Lamb, and who alone were capable of hearing the voice of the Lamb. So some people now assume that heaven must have been filled up.

Hmmmmm! Remember that Jesus said, “My sheep hears my voice and follows me” (John 10:13).

Ok! Rev 14 does not suggest that only 144,000 people would be saved. Instead, it shows that everyone can be saved. Do not forget the character of the book of Revelation; it makes use of symbols which most times are not to be interpreted literarily. These symbols are supposed to be understood by the people the book is addressing but not their enemies.

How does the book arrive at the 144,000? Remember that God chose Israel to be his people (Deut 7:6-8) and Israel is made up of 12 tribes. At a time Israel began to consider themselves as the beginning and end of the world. Jesus appointed the 12 apostles to represent the new Israel. So the number ’12’ came to stand for the totality of the people of God.

The number “1000” reflects the realm of God. You can now make the calculations yourselves. 12 x 12 x 1000. Is that not 144,000?

So do not be confused or disheartened by that wrong doctrine. Remember that the book also talks about a great crowd which no one could count (Rev 7:9).

Instead of bothering yourself about the number, Jesus said, “Do your best to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). There is a space for everyone in the kingdom of God because there are many rooms there (cf. John 14:2). Make effort to hear the Shepherd’s voice by doing good deeds.

In doing the will of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary came to be regarded highly in relation to Jesus (cf. Luke 11:28).

So, as we celebrate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary today, we, who have also been baptised and presented to God, are called to move away from being nominal Christians to active disciples, who bear true witness to the Gospel of Christ.

We pray that God may also grant us the same grace he granted to Mary (see Luke 1:49) so that we may also do his will at all times and be granted a place with him in his home in heaven in the end. Amen.

Have a nice working week ahead. It is well with you.

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