“There is no salvation outside of the Church.” This statement is famous, delivered in the third century by Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, and is not always correctly interpreted. Many Christians in the past have made the mistake of identifying the kingdom of God with the ecclesial institution to which they belonged. They flaunted arrogant certainties, cultivated prejudices against other religions and called the others impure and far. In the most abhorrent cases they also resorted to force to coerce others to conversion and baptism.
The passage ends with a comment by the evangelist: “he explained everything privately to his disciples” (v. 34). Reflection, silence and prayer are needed; one needs to devote time to dialogue with Christ. It is necessary to create a spiritual atmosphere to receive from the Spirit the needed light to assimilate and translate the message of this parable into choices of life.