Speaking at morning Mass at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis on Monday urged the faithful to seek salvation through anyone but Jesus alone, because he is the only way into heaven.
“The Lord thus clearly says: you cannot enter eternal life by any entryway that is not the door — that is not Jesus,” the Pope said during his April 18 homily, according to Vatican Radio's translation. “He is the door of our life — and not only of eternal life, but also of our daily lives.”
If we do not make decisions “in the name of Jesus” — who is the door — we attempt to do so through a “smuggler's hatch,” he said.
Pope Francis drew his reflection from the day's readings, and referenced Sunday's Gospel on the good shepherd. “He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door,” but who tries to enter another way, “is a thief and a robber,” he said. “There is no other” door than Christ.
Jesus used “simple images” that people at the time could relate to, such as the shepherd, he said. They therefore understood when Jesus said the only entrance was through the “gate of the sheep pen.”
On the “path of life, the life of every day,” we need only follow Jesus, the shepherd, and we will never be misled, the Pope said. “Those who follow Jesus do nor err!”
Pope Francis said those who seek guidance from the likes of fortune tellers, for instance, are not following Jesus. In such an instance, “you follow another, who shows you another way, a different way.”
Rather: “Jesus shows the way forward: there is no other who can show the way.”
The Pope cited Jesus' warnings against following those who claim to have the way of the Messiah. “Do not listen. Do not hear them. I am the way.”
“Jesus is the door and also the path: if we follow Him we shall not go astray.”
The sheep “follow Him because they know his voice,” Pope Francis said. Moreover, the way to distinguish the voice of Jesus from “bandits, who [seek to] destroy and deceive you,” is to find look to the Beatitudes.
“Should someone make to teach you a way contrary to the Beatitudes, [know] that such a one is one who has entered through the window: it is not Jesus!”
Another clue as to whether the voice is from Jesus is whether it “speaks of the works of mercy,” he said.
The third indication that the voice is Jesus is that it “teaches you to pray the Our Father.”
Pope Francis concluded: “May the Lord make us understand that this is Jesus, this is the icon of Him: the pastor who leads, who shows the way, and teaches us to listen to His voice.”