Holy Year of Mercy
In case anyone has forgotten what the door in the courtyard is all about, it’s about the Holy Year of Mercy. Pope Francis declared a jubilee year to show that the Church’s mission is to be a witness of compassion in the world. On December 8, 2015, the Pope opened the Holy Door in Rome for the beginning of the Year of Mercy. He said the door is a sign of Christ who said, “I am the gate for the sheep…Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. Within the doors of the Church, God’s people find rest, safety, and nourishment.” The Year of Mercy ends on November 20, 2016 with the feast of Christ the King.
The door in the courtyard is our symbol and reminder that our mission is to be a witness in the world. The faithful are all called to follow Jesus’ command “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”. This can be done by first coming to God with a sincere heart and asking for His mercy. This happens through personal prayer or praying with the community at Mass. It can happen anywhere and anytime; at home, work or taking a walk. The chapel is always open to all who want to spend a few quiet moments with the Lord. We can also ask for God’s mercy by celebrating the sacraments, especially Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Secondly, because God loves us so much and always shows us mercy, we are strengthened by that love to go out into the world and show that same mercy to others. During the Dismissal Rite at Mass, the people are told to go out and serve the Lord. The best way to do this is by actions that help others in their physical as well as their spiritual needs.
Holy Spirit parish embarked on a project to help the homeless of San Jose. Our guests were fed, given to drink, clothed and given a place to sleep. The shelter project is over but what it showed was that the need for kindness, concern and empathy does not end. There is abundant need in our own parish family, local community and beyond.
The door in the courtyard is our reminder of God’s love for us and His continuing mercy. It challenges everyone to walk through it with Jesus and show that same mercy to others.