5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 7th February, 2016

"Open Wide the Doors to Christ."

The beginning of a Jubilee Year is always solemnly marked by the opening of a Holy Door by the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. However, for this Jubilee of Mercy Pope Francis wants a Door of Mercy in each diocese so that everyone throughout the world may be able to celebrate the Jubilee.

A door in everyday life has several functions, all repeated by the symbol of the Holy Door:

*it marks the separation between inside and outside, between sin and the order of grace ;

*it permits entry to a new place, in showing mercy and not condemnation;

* it provides protection, it provides salvation .

In the words of Pope Francis, “There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).”

Jesus said “I am the gate”. To enter this gate is our free decision, and at the same time it implies the courage to abandon something, to leave something behind.

For those who pass through this door, the very act of passage expresses an internal desire for conversion as one seeks to cross over the threshold of Christ—from sin to grace, slavery to freedom, from darkness to light. Therefore the Pope has declared that entering the door of mercy in this year of Jubilee will be a sacred pilgrimage. When one crosses this threshold, one is greeted by the loving experience of a God who consoles, pardons and instils in us a future full of hope.

I encourage every family to make a special effort to participate in our Lenten

Reconciliation Service on Wednesday March 9th at 7.30 pm for it here that we truly hear the Lord say to us “Your sins are forgiven, go in peace”. Coming as a family, highlights for us our Parish family and our need for communal forgiveness.

During the first week of the Year of Mercy, an estimated 10,000 holy doors were opened in Catholic churches around the world. Cardinal Vincent opened the door at Westminster Cathedral and asked that all Deaneries have a Holy Door. Our Deanery Holy Door has been opened at St Edward’s, Golders Green. Every- one is encouraged to visit the Cathedral or St Edwards to pass through these Holy Doors.

To highlight Christ’s loving invitation to all of us to come and share God’s mercy through him, we will display relevant messages of exhortation, giving the theme for the particular Sunday, with relevant quotations from the Scriptures and Pope Francis, on our Church

door.

Fr Kevin O'Shea C.M.