O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Jesus in his own body has opened the door to salvation. He is the door. He is the way into the Kingdom, into the very heart of the Trinity. “I am the door ; if anyone enters through Me , he will be saved.”
It would be difficult to reflect upon this antiphon this advent, without making a connection to the Jubilee Year and the significance of the Holy Door of Mercy being opened in every diocese in the world. Pope Francis in various homilies has this to say: “As Christians we are called to cross the threshold of the door of mercy. We are asked to welcome and experience God’s love which recreates, transforms and renews life. From this experience we must go out and be instruments of mercy. God is anxious to be merciful and to welcome everyone into the tender embrace of reconciliation and forgiveness. “

A major aspect of the Holy Year throughout history has been that of a pilgrimage to Rome to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life. As in today’s antiphon the prayer of the pilgrim, and each of us are pilgrims, could be ‘ O come to lead the captive from prison, free those who live in darkness and the shadow of death.’  Show us your mercy O lord, remember your Holy Covenant sealed in the blood of your Son on the Cross .

A very important symbolic act performed by each pilgrim has been to pass through the Holy Door.  Pope St. John Paul 11 said,  at the opening of the last jubilee that the “Holy Door evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish.” He continues, “Jesus said   ‘I am the door’, in order to make it clear that no one can come to the father except through him. He alone is the saviour sent by the Father. He alone is the way, the only way that opens wide the entrance into life of communion with God. To Him alone can the words of the psalm be applied in full truth: “this is the door of the Lord where the just may enter”
So the symbolism of passing through the holy Door into the basilica or Church is to pass from this world into the presence of God. It is to freely decide to cross the threshold, leaving behind the kingdom of this world and all that holds us captive so as to enter into the new life of grace of the kingdom of God.
Our hearts are made for God. Within each one of us there is a sense of incompleteness and only God can make us whole.   Especially in our times, people do not realise that God is the answer to the extraordinary restlessness they feel. They are aware thar nothing satisfies them. The more they have the more they realise that this is not what they are looking for. Their hearts ache for they know not what. But we know, we know that our restless longings are genuine, our sense of incompleteness is real and that only God can satisfy our deepest longings. In this year of Mercy, this time of overflowing grace, let us get excited about bringing others to the fount that God may quench their thirst. Let us unite with Jesus longing ,his hope, his thirst, his welcome.  It was said of Dominic that his desire for the salvation of others was such that it kept him awake nights. The brethren could hear him in the quiet, crying out in anguish ‘Lord have mercy on your people , what will become of sinners’. Let us join him. Let us become so captivated by Jesus that we are willing to make a hole in the roof to bring those in need of forgiveness into Jesus presence. Let us be like Mary whose intercession in the upper room caused Jesus to come in, even through locked doors.
 God wishes to show mercy to the world. His servants are the answer. God wishes to show mercy through us, to free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.  ‘To love and forgive are the concrete visible signs that faith has transformed our hearts and they enable us to express in our selves the very life of God’( Pope Francis). It is in and through us that God now enters our world. We are the face of his mercy. Let us enter into the heart of Jesus that He might enter into the heart of our world.