God opens wide the doors

By Patricia Kasten | July 26, 2013

Remember the Bob Dylan hit, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door?” Yes, it’s an older hit, dating to 1973, but many artists have recorded it since.

God is always waiting for us to ask for what we need, for us to knock on his door for a visit or even to pound on heaven’s door in desperation or fear. Jesus promised that “it shall be opened unto you.”

Look around in church this week and see how many doors there are and what their opening symbolizes for you about God.

– There are the church doors, opening wide to offer shelter from the cold, from the rain, from the noise and bustle of everyday life.

– There are doors leading from the gathering space to the church, to usher us into the greatest of celebrations and the deepest of mysteries.

– The doors of the tabernacle open to give us the food of eternal life.

– The doors to the confessional, or reconciliation room, open to the way to the sacrament of reconciliation and renewal.

– The doors to the ambry open to the holy oils: chrism, the oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick, offering us healing and new life.

– In some churches, the baptismal font is surrounded by gates — mostly to keep clumsy people like me from falling into it by accident — but those gates also open to welcome new members to the church, the people of God.

What other doors do you see around you? What do they mean to you and for you about your relationship with God? What about the doors of your heart? Remember, it isn’t only us who knocks on heaven’s door. God also knocks on the door of our hearts and asks to come in, sit down and share time with us.

All these doors in church are reminders of this: that God is always ready to welcome us and to open wide the doors to gifts beyond our understanding. All we need to do is what Jesus said: “Ask and you will receive.”

As we reflect on all the doors around us, we might want to take time to remember the times when the doors of heaven opened for us, in small ways and great. Then we can rejoice with the psalmist and say: “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.”

Kasten is an associate editor of The Compass and the author of “Linking Your Beads: The Rosary’s History, Mysteries and Prayers.”

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