Behold, He Stands At The Door And Knocks
“When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.”
Imagine being in the upper room. Apostles and disciples, men and women, are gathered for safety. The disciples are close to despair, hovering on the edge of hope. Their dreams have been shattered. They had asked Jesus what they would receive if they followed him—and he had promised them so much! Now he was dead. His life ended ignobly—or so it seemed. Someone in the group reminds them that Jesus had said he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If he was the Life, the speaker wonders, then how do we understand his death?
Suddenly Mary Magdalene bangs on the locked door. They all look at each other, afraid to open it. Mary continues knocking. The door finally opens and Mary bursts into the dark room with her message, light streaming into each darkened corner: “He is alive! He is alive! I saw him! I spoke with him!” Mary goes to each person in the room with the message: “Don’t fear; he sent me to tell you he is raised!”
When Jesus knocks on the door of our heart, are we afraid to open it? What is our fear? Like the disciples, we may find it easier to ignore the knock, to turn on the television, go shopping, surf the Internet, or turn to another diversion. The light of God shines so brightly, and the news of the resurrection so overwhelms us, that we may have a hard time believing, as did the apostles.
Later, Jesus appears in the same room and chides the disciples for their unwillingness to believe. His reproach is like that of a lover who sends a letter only to later find it unopened. Like Mary we receive a love letter from God. We carry the message to everyone we meet: “Do not be afraid. God is with us! He is alive! He sent me to tell you.”
Jesus, I renew my baptismal dialogue with you. To your “Do you believe?” I respond, “I do believe!” I pray that this will be a decisive renewal in faith. Transform me in your love, and lead me to a life of communion with my brothers and sisters. I want to bring the message of your love to everyone I meet.
I do believe, not as an idea, but as fullness of life.
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 18–19). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.