The Door is open… 6Dec2015

image-of-divine-mercy (2)“Today we consider the great open door of God’s mercy, symbolized by the Holy Doors which will open in Churches throughout the world.”

              Address of Pope Francis, 18 Nov 2015

 

As we prepare to open the Year of Mercy we can feel an enthusiasm in the words of Baruch, if we but make a simple substitution, as though he is addressing us directly: “Holy Mother Church, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever… stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children gathered from the east and the west… rejoicing that they are remembered by God.…for God is leading Holy Mother Church in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.”

The words of John the Baptist, quoting Isaiah, echo this same theme of joyous expectation as we enter Advent: “The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

The season of Advent, filled with emptiness and hope, longing and expectation, is the perfect place to begin our Year of Mercy. Just as mankind long ago first awaited its redemption from slavery to sin, we look ahead to Christ’s second coming in Glory – when all will be made new and all creation will be reconciled to God (Rom. 8:20-21), but first we must rise to that profound challenge of Jesus, “When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on earth” (Lk. 18:8)?

Mary is the first to welcome Christ with words of faith, her fiat, “Let it be done to me according to his will.” So, it is appropriate that on the day we celebrate the Solemnity of her Immaculate Conception we, at the same time, open the Door of Mercy, not just at St. Peter’s but in our parish, our hearts and the thresholds of our homes.

Stand before a picture of Divine Mercy, stretching out your arms as Jesus is doing, and feel the rays coming from His heart as you repeat, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Now think about those who long to feel what you feel; extend a hand of invitation to them.

Deacon Richard

 

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