It’s not a “knock, knock” joke!



A couple of generations ago, it was not unusual for people in their homes or apartments have someone knock on their door or ring their doorbell. Most often it was a neighbor, a friend of one of the family’s children or someone involved in door-to-door or home delivery commerce.

Not so these days!

In our times of physical disconnection from one another, in our era when the apparently preferred method of personal contact is via a digital device, many folks find a knock at the door or a ringing of the doorbell to be an unwanted intrusion.

In our day, homes function more like fortresses. Porches used to be constructed on the front of houses so that sitting and relaxing outdoors was a public act—and no one seemed too bothered by that because all the neighbors knew one another. For many years now, most porches tend to be referred to as “decks” and they are built on the back of the house where people can sit outside, hopefully unseen by others because their view is blocked by our tall, view-obstructing fences!

Just dropping in on someone without forewarning is really no longer a socially acceptable thing to do. These days, from what people tell me, it is not unusual for people not to answer when someone knocks on their door or rings their doorbell.

But Our Lord Jesus uses the powerful image of ‘dropping in’ when he tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock...”

He’s knocking on your door.

He’s knocking on my door.

He’s knocking on the door of our parish, too.

And the question for us is not “Should I answer?” but “Why should I answer and let Jesus in?”

That’s the question posed on the postcard for Week 2 of our 2017 Lenten Theme: “Lent: a Time for Invitations.”

We are sadly conditioned in our times to have a reflexive reaction whenever someone seeks our attention or we think (fear?) that they might be asking something of us: that reflexive reaction is that we consider the person and/or their request to be a threat to us.

I am sad to say that many of us consider the knock of Jesus in a similar way.

Because our culture encourages us to be so focused on our self, we too often consider requests for our time, attention, care, help, etc. to be an intrusion or an invasion...not an appropriate invitation.

We are conditioned in our culture to see so many things in a competitive way: if I let (fill in the blank) in, I might “lose” something. My life belongs to me, we too often think: no one has a right to impose themselves on me.

And that, too, is an approach we often take in reaction to the knocking of Jesus.

And, I guess we’re right to be a little bit afraid. Because He’s not just seeking to come in for a visit. No, He wants us to let Him in so that He can come in and live with/in us!

But...here’s the thing...Jesus is not a threat to us!! He is a threat to the things, the falsehoods and wounds of our life. He comes to displace all that keeps us from true life, true love and true holiness. The Lord asks us to let him into our lives not so that he can take anything away from us...no, Jesus seeks to give us back to ourselves, for us to discover who we really and truly are!

We don’t lose a thing by letting Jesus in!! We gain everything. As St. Paul once wrote (and I am paraphrasing), ‘Compared to Christ, I consider everything else to be dung!’

You see, in our life in Christ, Jesus does not set up a competitive dynamic between us and Him. No, because the Lord is a loving Victor over sin and death, He shares that victory with us...we are winners!

Only fear would keep us from opening the door to Jesus...fear rooted in the lies of the Evil One. Perhaps it’s true that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”...and the Enemy who encourages us to fear!

Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. With love and trust in Him...“Do not be afraid...open wide the door to Christ!” 

 

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