Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jesus Christ: The Door into Eternal Life

Pope Francis Opening the Holy Door
The Gospel according to John shares many images of Jesus. I am the bread; the vine; the way, the truth and the life; the light;
the door; the resurrection; the good shepherd. These seven “I am” sayings allude to the divinity of Jesus.

I particularly like the image of Jesus as the “door” to eternal life. There are many doors in our lives. An open door welcomes friends, fresh air, light. A closed door can shelter and protect us. Doors can be opened in compassion. They can be slammed shut in anger.

The doors we pass through may be transitions from fear into safety, from isolation into community. The church door welcomes us into God’s presence where the word is proclaimed and the sacrament celebrated. The courthouse door may be the entry into seeking justice. The university door is the threshold into learning. Our own front door assures we are safely home.

The Easter season is all about life and hope. In Jesus’s death on Good Friday is hidden his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Easter challenges us to “reset our lives” each day. Every day is a new beginning, a new door to be opened.

A best seller titled Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World offers some good advice:
-- Make your bed every morning, because when you accomplish one thing early, you'll be motivated to achieve more. The point: if you don't do the little things right, you won’t do the big things right. Start each day with a task completed.

--Remember life isn't fair. Keep moving forward despite failures and struggles, because what you learn will make you wiser. In your darkest moments, you have to be your very best—calm and strategic—so that you can bring all your skills of mind and strength of character to bear on the challenge. I think of the pilot of the recent Southwest flight who, thanks to her solid experience and composure, safely landed a plane when an engine blew out in mid-flight.

When I enter an airplane, I occasionally think about the many people involved: pilots and flight attendants, mechanics, dispatchers, controllers, inspectors, and many others. An airplane involves teamwork. And so too does life.  We take so many things for granted, often without even an acknowledgment of gratitude. The challenge is to be always grateful.  Grateful to God that we are, that we have so many blessings, that we have so many people whose goodness inspires hope.

One person can change the world by giving people hope. Think, for instance, of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and of course, Jesus Christ.

The Easter season is about hope in God. At every stage in our earthly pilgrimage, and ultimately through death, into eternal life, God is present invisibly. As St. Paul put it, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

Jesus is our “door” to eternal life. Yes, seeing God face to face will be the fulfillment of our hope.

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