O come, O Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery. - Antiphon IV
In the Opening Prayer of the First Sunday of Advent, we are called “to run forth to meet Christ.” Advent this year is embraced by “The Year of Faith”, proclaimed by our Holy Father as “Porta Fidei”. What a brilliant symbol this particular door is at the very beginning of the Church’s New Year. How inviting it is to enter the mystery of the Salvation of the World!
When we see a closed door, are we not a bit curious to know what might be behind it? We want to open it and have a look around and maybe even take a walk through it. But, will there be light, or will there be only darkness; a rough way up to the mountains or a straight way through the valley? Do we have courage to go on or are we still afraid to open this door?
Ah, but this door, is the “Door of Faith”, and we have been given the key to open it. It is the Key of David, which is Jesus himself, and in dazzling light He stands behind that door waiting for us. Trust! It is worth it! Trust like Mother Mary, who with her yes, opened her heart for God’s grace; like John the Baptist, who called to straighten crooked ways; and like Simeon, who long awaited for the moment of salvation. Come in and do not be afraid. The “door of faith” is always open for us, and welcomes us into a life of communion with the Lord God, but in order to cross that threshold we must recommend our heart to trust like a child, and to not fear that something wrong may happen; to allow our heart to be embraced by Him and be molded by His transforming grace. Was it not this desire we had when we vowed our love to the end and committed ourselves completely to God, by following His Son, Jesus Christ? God fascinated St. Vincent Pallotti. Is it true that the Lord fascinates me and nothing else, as it was in the life of the Founder?
Dear Sisters, it is love, which opens the door to Christ. To rediscover our loving relationship with God, we must awaken our awareness of our belonging, examine our disposition of openness to God, and call our attention to how deeply we are rooted in faith. Often we are touched by the witness of many martyrs, saints and the heroic life stories of our own sisters. St. Vincent Pallotti was a man of faith, and was motivated by his love for Christ. Pallotti responded to the spirit of the time in which he lived. He has shown us the way to live and act in the current times.
Our Holy Father calls us to both deepen our faith and to commit ourselves to proclaiming that faith to a desert world that is waiting to hear the good news. To do this he calls us to open that Door. Do we have the courage to open it now, or are we still just sitting on the bench waiting for some unknown push to come along? Carpe Diem-seize the day and open the doors and windows of our hearts toward others who are in need. Ask the Holy Spirit to pour a stream of His healing grace upon us and our communities, so that we can become a bright light to the world. The Pope is also calling us to exercise our faith by sharing words of hope, encouragement, solidarity, and friendship by radiating as a witness of Jesus Christ. He calls us to be agents of unity, reconciliation, and peace. This exercise must begin from each individual.
Advent is a special time to respond to this call. We have the example of Mary the Mother of God, who treasured every memory and every moment of her life as Co-Redemptoris. During this season strive to find the right path towards the “Door of Faith”. On finding it, do not ponder over opening it, but rather run to it with all your spiritual energy and throw it wide open. Your entrance will begin a new journey with a new relationship with Blessed Mother and her Son, Jesus.
With Advent greetings and assurance of prayer,
Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC