The Communion Antiphon for Mass of December 23rd is drawn from Revelations 3:20 and begins: Behold, I stand at the door knocking….
As I prayed those words during Holy Mass this evening my heart was suddenly aware of the peoples of this earth.
It also made me examine my conscience and pose the question: Do I truly participate, especially through prayer and fasting, in His sitio, His thirst, for souls?
For many of our brothers and sisters, in various countries, the sound of someone knocking on their door elicits terror, for secret police forces knock and someone will disappear.
In many countries marauders belonging to this faction or that, take our brothers and sisters as hostages.
Sometimes the knock is because a Military Officer must inform parents, spouses, children, that a loved one has made the supreme sacrifice.
Or a Police Officer must inform a family of a loved one’s death by accident or murder.
A knock can announce joy or pain.
During these Holy Days of the Birth of the One who comes knocking, many of us will knock on the doors of family or friends, bringing the gift of our love to celebrate with joy the birth of the Holy Child.
But what of our brothers and sisters in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons – or fire halls, police stations, those working to keep our streets clean of snow, the lights burning, phone systems working, ambulances available, places to eat?
Will they hear a knock?
What of the homeless? We presume they have no door on which one might knock.
They have hearts – will we use love’s imagination to find ways to knock, to be for them the face of the Child who wishes to enter and stay with them?
What of the tired priests, some of whom will be going from parish to parish throughout tomorrow, the night of Christmas and throughout the day?
You may be surprised by the number of priests who will take supper alone on Christmas Day because, for them, no one knocked on the door.
The Holy Child knocks at the door of every heart, yearning with the fire of Divine Love in His Heart that we will open the manger of our hearts to Him.
Allow Him to stay.
Will we take some time, especially in this Holy Season, to be still – preferably during a visit to Him in the Blessed Sacrament – and pray for those of our brothers and sisters for whom a knock on the door brings terror or sorrow; for those who, for whatever reason, do not hear Him knocking, or hear but hesitate to open to Him?
Will we take the time to go and knock on the door – the heart really – of someone who is alone this Christmas?
When all creation, heaven and earth, stood still after the last word of Gabriel had been uttered to hear what the Maiden would answer, it was indeed the sound of Her FIAT!, opening the door to Him.
May Our Lady of the Way teach us how to help one another open to Him, indeed may she open wide our hearts as manger for Him and for all our brothers and sisters.