This past Wednesday, some of us witnessed a very old tradition. At the start of the Vesper Service at the Cathedral Bishop Siegel and Archbishop Sartain, led by a deacon carrying the lit Easter Candle, went to the front door. They waited for a knock, which came, from Bishop Daniel Conlon, who was asking to be let into the Cathedral. It was a powerful symbol of his entrance into the Church of Joliet. Of course the next day he was installed. But the powerful symbol of his knocking brought home to me that we are community.
The Eucharist, among other things, is all about community; the community of Jesus Christ. We are his flock, and He is our shepherd – he has our welfare ever front in his heart and mind. He gives us a bishop, a shepherd, to lead us on our journey, on his journey, to witness to mankind the Gospel message. And that is an important point about being a Eucharistic community; it doesn’t mean that we narrow ourselves to our Catholic communities, St Dominic, Diocese of Joliet, or the Universal Church for that matter. It means the whole of creation is our community; we are called to be church to everyone, to point everyone to the Gospel message of salvation.
Bishop Conlon’s knock on the door of the Cathedral symbolized not only the entrance of our new shepherd but, in a way it symbolized the knock of Christ at the doors of our hearts. So as we did symbolically in the Cathedral and welcomed Bishop Conlon in – let us resolve to truly welcome Jesus into our hearts every moment of our lives. In this way we will be able to help Jesus knock on the doors of those we meet in our community.