December 8. One of the famous Pilgrim Centres was having the opening of its ‘Door of Mercy’. The solemn procession led by the Bishop and his assistants reached in front of the closed door, which was duly decorated and lighted. A large number of people pressed around. After the prescribed prayers the Bishop ritually knocked thrice on the door and the ‘Door of Mercy’ was opened. People vied with each other to have an earlier chance of entry.
What followed was a homily centred on the ‘Year of Mercy’ and the indulgences attached to it. He spoke elaborately on the ways and means of obtaining the unique indulgences, describing the manner of “proper preparation for a worthy entry through the “door.”
If we enter by the door of mercy with right dispositions we shall definitely receive great mercy. No doubt on that. But the significant question to be posed is this, “What should our attitude be, when we come out of the door?”
To answer this question impeccably we have to fall back on the Words of Jesus. There is a question the King asks the man who was freed of a great debt of ten thousand talents. “There is a man standing outside, who owes you just 100 denarii, a minute fraction of what you were indebted to me. Will you not show mercy to him? Won’t you free him from paying the negligible sum he owes you?”(Mt. 18:21-25).
What we receive when we enter by the door of mercy, is God’s infinite mercy. When we are recipients of such immense divine mercy we also have the tremendous responsibility to share that mercy with our brothers and sisters. In other words, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return” (Lk 12:48).
What happens if the one who receives much mercy, does not return mercy? “The King will, in anger, have him bound and deliver him to torturers until he shall have paid all that is due” (Mt. 18:34).
Therefore, let us be wary when we enter by the door of mercy. If we fail to show greater mercy to our fellow beings when we get out of the door, it can turn disastrous to us. The door of mercy can turn out to be the door of condemnation for us if we do not learn to be merciful. This can happen not only to those who enter by the door but also to those who have built it, installed it, blessed it and those who keep encouraging others to enter by it.
Dr. Jacob Naluparayil