The doors that open and those that don’t: A homily for Divine Mercy Sunday (B)

the-divine-mercy-jesus-i-trust-in-you-ii-terezia-sedlakova-wutzayThe Gospel today talks about doors….so I’ve been thinking about the doors of our lives.

Sometimes doors open for us. That is mercy. I think about when God gives a new job, or when a new relationship forms, a new ministry at church. It is mercy that opens these doors! Sometimes doors open in unexpected ways and when we’re not even looking for them. I think about the story I use all the time of a couple that met because of a car accident. Their kids owe their lives to a fender bender! It is mercy. God opens new doors for us all the time. Puts the right people together at the right time.  It’s mercy.

Sometimes, though, the doors do not open for us. That, too, is mercy. There’s a saying: “If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” Sometimes we are convinced a certain door is “our door.” But, for reasons we may never know, it isn’t. And God keeps it closed for good reason, and that reason is mercy. Sometimes we are convinced that some job or some promotion is meant to be ours, but someone else gets it. That’s because God has a different door in store for us. I had been a priest for 8 months when I heard that Roncalli needed a new priest. I wanted that assignment….on top of my OLG assignment. I had a list of reasons why that job should have been mine.  It didn’t come to pass. Someone else was selected. The door was closed.  But now I thank God because perhaps, had that door been opened for me, I wouldn’t be here at St joe’s today.  Sometimes God closes a door and it is mercy.

The doors that open, the doors that don’t–sometimes it can be hard to accept.  Here’s the thing. St Faustina gives good advice here: just say three times, JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.  And then, she says, all our anxieties fall away.  Jesus I trust in you. You opened this door and closed that door…I trust in you.

There is a door we must always keep open: the door of our hearts. Listen to this from St. Faustina: “All grace flows from mercy….God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.” (No. 1507). It is our job to keep the door of our hearts open to God. A sad thing happens when we try to shut God out. Sometimes you see this with people. They resist and resist and resist some more. They have an objection for everything. But ultimately, even if it’s in their last breath, most people open the door.

And here’s some good news: God knows how to break down the doors. The apostles in Gospel today, they had the door closed and locked. But Jesus came in anyways. Thomas, the door of his heart was closed. His mantra: “I will not believe!” But then he sees Jesus, and he never has to put his finger in his side….he falls on his knees and confesses God’s mercy.

Jesus is the source of all mercy. In the Eucharist, he enters our doors and dwells within us….so that he lives in us….and together, Jesus mixed with us, we can be sources of mercy and grace for a world that needs it so much!