Holy Door for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000

I am the door of life. I entreat all "Enter!"
Whoever seeks the joys of heaven will cross through me.
He who was born of the Virgin but not created by the Father—
he himself will save those who enter and guide those who go out.

As we prepare for the Millennium of our salvation, we reflect on Christ, the door to the Father, who knocks at the doors of our hearts, our homes and our churches. He calls tenderly to us, and as in that upper room where the disciples huddled in fear, he calls out to us: ‘Do not fear! It is I!' And so the first Jubilee door I am called to prepare is the door to my heart. I am called to open my heart to Christ. Like Mary, who bore him deep within her body, Christ gives us the grace to open our hearts to the conversion, unity and justice of the Kingdom of God.

The Church door is the silent witness to all the moments of our lives. It is at this door that the priest or deacon first welcomes the parents of the newborn child and reminds them of the joy that embraced them when first they held that child in their arms. The same Church door looks down years later when that child arrives to be married as the priest "receives the couple and greets them in a warm and friendly manner, showing that the church shares their joy." Finally that door stands witness at the end of life as the body of the deceased Christian is received into Church at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.

The Church door is the door to salvation, the portal of the Kingdom of God. Christ himself told us that he is the door to the Kingdom of Heaven. "I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture." (John 10:7-10)

Christ not only invites us to enter the Kingdom of heaven through him, he even leaves the keys to his apostles, assuring them that "whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:18-20) Unlike the foolish virgins whose lamps were not trimmed in time for the wedding banquet, those who repent of their sins and receive Christ's forgiveness through the Church will not find the door barred when the bridegroom returns. (Mt 25:10)

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1999, Pope John Paul II will open the great Holy Year Door in Saint Peter's Basilica. The door will remain open throughout the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. The blessing for a church door has been prepared to assist parishes or dioceses in preparing in a similar manner for the great Jubilee year.

--National Conference of Catholic Bishops

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