Opening the Door to the Holy Spirit – Opening the Door to the Sacred

May 15, 2016

In our lives there are many doors that are presented to us.  We walk through many doorways in our daily routine. From the moment of our waking to the time we retire at night, doors and doorways are invitations as well as messages.   In our house growing up, my sister had her own room with a door.  The rest of my siblings, my brothers and I, lived in a dormer upstairs with no door.  And there were no walls separating us either.  My sister sent many messages to us by closing the door, putting signs on the door and at times slamming the door.  All these actions told us about what was happening.  In the Gospel we hear that the disciples are behind locked doors.  Fear had not only closed the door, but had also locked it.  Locked doors convey an even more dramatic tone.  We are not only closing things out, but we will not open for a gentle knocking.

Jesus passes through all of that.  Even with our situations being what they are, even if we have closed Jesus out, He still comes in and passes through the doorway when it is closed.  Nothing can separate us from the desire of God for us to experience the Holy Spirit.  God’s desire is to break into the deepest recesses of our lives and to give us peace.  We are to receive the Holy Spirit as breath.  Beyond the door, no matter how tightly we lock it; there is life in the Spirit.  When there is no breath, there is no life.  Jesus is conveying the life of God to us through the Holy Spirit.  What a precious gift of life that is.  We are blessed in the desire of God.

Taking in breath is not really living, it is just being aware of our body’s functions.  To live is to enter through the doorways of each day and make a difference.  It is to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit and make them alive in the way we see the day.  What we do with the breath of life God gives to us is interwoven in peace and forgiveness, joy and grace.  To live a life of grace is to walk through the doorway in the confidence that God longs to make a difference.

When I was a young priest coming out of the seminary, I thought that I was going to make a difference.  I believed that I was going to take the Holy Spirit on a great adventure and I was going to make an impact.  What I found out was I was going to do nothing of the sort.  The more I tried, the more I failed.  It was not until I let go of what I was going to do that God could breathe into me the presence of the Holy Spirit and it would be an opportunity to just serve the Lord.  When I lost the “I”, God could take over.  It was then that the gifts of the Holy Spirit could send me to doorways and to minister as a servant.

We go through so many doors and we close so many doors in just one day.  The good news is that no matter how tightly we want to lock a door, it cannot keep God out. Rejoice in the Spirit and may God lead us to where He longs to bring life.

Rev. John J. Ouper