The opening of the Holy Door is a traditional part of the inauguration of a Jubilee year. Check out this video of Pope Francis opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The act of opening the door is rich in symbolism. Saint John Paul II began his pontificate with these memorable words: “Be not afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors to Christ.” Pope Benedict XVI in the inaugural Mass of his own pontificate reiterated JPII’s exhortation saying: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.” The Scriptures too speak of opening the doors.  Psalm 24:7 says: “Lift up your heads, o gates! And be lifted up o ancient doors! That the king of glory may come in.” In the book of Revelation (3:20) Jesus himself invites us to open the door of our hearts saying: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,  I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” Notice a pattern here?  The Lord does not come barging through the door of our hearts. It is we who must open the door in response to Jesus’ gentle knock.  He issues the invitation, but the freedom to either open the door or allow it to remain shut remains squarely in our hands. Placing our hand on the doorknob and turning requires and act of faith on our part. The words from Revelation assure us that the rewards of opening that door is an experience of

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