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Pastor's Column

Jesus Standing at the Door

Pastor’s Column

3rd Sunday of Easter

April 14, 2024

Peter Carl Geissler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“While they were still speaking about this, Jesus stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”

                        from Luke 24:35-48

In this remarkable passage, Jesus appears before the disciples who are again in a locked room. Jesus has the ability to enter every locked door, every heart, but he waits for an invitation. He will not enter a house where he is unwelcome!

We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that the religious authorities were very involved in the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion. Far from settling the matter, and particularly after Pentecost, belief in Jesus grew enormously among the populace after Jesus’ crucifixion, causing alarm among these authorities. How easy it would have been for Jesus to have appeared to the Sadducees and Pharisees after the resurrection, as he did later for Saint Paul, for example, but there is not evidence that Jesus ever did this. He let them think that they had won. All of us must make our choice for God without Jesus making himself so visible that we would lose our free will.

Although we see Jesus walking through locked doors and walls in these accounts, in general Jesus does prefer to knock! Here is what he says in Revelation, for example (Rev 3:20):

“Here I stand, knocking at the door.  If anyone hears me knocking and opens the door, I will come in and have supper with him, and he with me.”

Jesus here speaks of the fellowship we will have with him in the Eucharist if we invite him into our lives and unlock the door, which is a foretaste of the banquet of the kingdom of heaven. Is there a door in my heart that remains locked to Jesus? So many in our parish have sought sacramental forgiveness with the Lord in reconciliation. We have had many confessions here in the last few weeks, and in each case Jesus extends the same forgiveness to us as he did to the apostles after they betrayed him, and which they have handed down to us, as Jesus commanded them to, saying to the apostles, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained.”  John 20:23

The Christian heart is ideally a place where the Lord is welcome to come and go and regularly to have a sacred meal with us. Though Jesus can indeed walk through the walls of our hearts, he usually prefers to knock. Is there a door in my life that remains locked to Jesus? He waits for us to open this door to him.

Father Gary


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