The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Vic Rayco, SVD (Shrine of the Divine Word, CKMS,QC)
Monday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
I used to work in an institution that was inside the complex where the president of the country holds office. Having witnessed an attempted coup d’etat on a previous president, I understood the concern of the soldiers for security. But going to a gated subdivision where the rich reside, I could not understand why their security protocol was “harsher” than that of the place where the president holds office.
I used to do missionary work in a tribal area in the mountains. Having walked to get to the villages that were quite a distance from the main mission station, I understood the effort of these people to get to our community church. They came with their clothes wet with sweat and feet filled with mud. But going to the city churches, I do not understand why authorities insist on a dress code that would prevent “other” people from going to church.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,” says Jesus, “you close the door and prevent people from going in.” Would it not be pleasant if security people would usher us in because the host is waiting? Would it not be welcoming if churches were open for every kind, color, or shape? Would it not be transforming if, when feeling bad about our sinfulness – real or imagined – a friend says: “It is ok. You are ok”?
Keep the doors open to all!