A year ago today, with great fanfare, the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy began and Doors of Mercy across the world were flung open. Now, inevitably, the liturgical year has ended and the Doors of Mercy are being closed again. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. As a local priest said in his homily on Saturday night, “A lot of us feel as though too many doors are already closed to us, without these ones being shut as well.”
Amen to that. For me, of course, his words called to mind the door of the convent, long since swung shut, with the sisters on one side and me on the other. A closed door, whether it’s a physical barrier or exists only in the mind – or a combination of both – is a blunt and painful image of separation. There’s another way to look at it, however. Today, the Doors of Mercy are being closed… because we are inside.
All year, they have stood open and allowed God’s Mercy to draw us toward Him. No one, Catholic or not, aware of the significance of this year or not, has remained untouched by the outpouring of Mercy into the world. The graces He prepared for each of us through this Year of Mercy have been given, now; wherever you are in your journey into the heart of the Church, the door through which you were brought to that point is being closed behind you by a gracious Host.
And if the extraordinary door has closed, the ordinary ones through which we can go forward from here are still open. Prayer, works of mercy, and above all, the Sacraments – the front door of the Church is open and always will be. Another year has ended, and Christ is King.