As a symbol of this Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, Pope Francis opened the holy door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The “Holy Door” of St. Peter’s in the Vatican is a special door that is only opened for year-long jubilee celebrations called Holy Years. The Holy Door is normally bricked up and opened only during a holy year. It remains sealed up at all other times. Pope Francis also invited churches and shrines around the world to designate their own special “holy doors” during 2016 to pay special attention to God’s call to be a people of mercy.
When Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at St. Peter’s to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy, he said the Holy Year will focus on the topic of mercy, one of the most important themes of the scriptures. Pope Francis wants the Church to be more merciful and less rigid toward sinners. He said that this Holy Year will be a time to rediscover the need to be forgiving and generous. This time should be a time of reconciliation and an occasion to promote hope and justice in the world.
The real symbol is not the physical door. Grace is realized in the act of walking through the door. It is a conscious decision to enter God’s grace and enter into the Kingdom of God.
As we begin Holy Week in which we celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, we are celebrating the great gift of God’s mercy. Through the suffering of Jesus on the cross we have been promised forgiveness of our sins and the grace of new life in the Resurrection. In other words, we experience God’s great mercy.
Please join us for our Holy Week Services so that as a community of faith we may experience the love and grace of God’s mercy together.