“Doors Blown Open”
Today brings us to the end of the 50 days of Easter with the celebration of Pentecost. Easter is not yet over. We are still celebrating the Resurrection mystery. Pentecost is the feast of locked doors — that are suddenly blown open! “On the evening of that first day of the week, says John’s Gospel, when the doors were locked…” Jesus came and stood among them.
It’s the feast of isolation, fear, suspicion, betrayals, abandonment, and near despair — all dismissed by a resurrected One whose first words are “Peace be with you.” No re-criminations. No finger-pointing. No blaming. “No come up-uns.” Just words of forgiveness. Pentecost is the feast that reminds us of that bunch of folks who so wanted to do nothing else but sneak away, go into hiding, and wallow in their guilt and shame. Those terrified people could breathe again.
The Spirit of second chances still breaks down our overly alarmed doors with a love so vast, the ugliest kind of guilt and humiliation is instantly forgiven. The Spirit of new life rushes in like a great wind and embraces each one of them with a sense of peace, a SHALOM so profound that the doors of their souls fly open and a great fire lights their hearts.
Then the very ones who abandoned and betrayed him — are chosen. They are to preach the good news of God’s great love and mercy. And grapple with the locked doors of others. The very ones who handed him over, now become the ones who will begin a new human community — one eventually consisting of people like you and me.
It’s not good enough to just sit back and be amazed at its great imagery of fire and wind and blown-open doors. It demands that each of us search our own souls: Where are the locked doors in our lives? Where do we find our own selves isolated in fear, living behind emotionally sealed doors, hanging on to anger and refusing to come out of hiding?
Pentecost is not just something miraculous and stupendous that happened some 2,000 years ago. It’s an event that keeps happening for all of us — now! Locked doors were blown open. Our ability to breathe restored. Pentecost promises us that the Divine Spirit can be released in each of us: the Spirit of fire that can burn away our meanness, the Spirit of wind that can sweep away our desire for revenge; the Spirit of wide-open doors that can usher us into an inner peace that can transform our hearts of hate.
That Holy Breath of Jesus continues to fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in us the fire of immense love. Let’r rip God! “Send forth that Spirit, and renew the face of our earth!”
A gentle week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM
Adapted from Celebration’s Ted Wolgamot reflection for this week.