In an instant, the Bishop will open the door of mercy, announcing with this action the commencement of the Jubilee of Mercy for this great Diocese of Manzini. The opening of the door symbolises the fact that we are all invited to walk through it and be welcomed into the loving hands of the Church. Jesus has promised us that he is the way the truth and the life (John John 14:6). He is the Good Shepherd who leads his sheep into the right gate (John 10:1). The door of the Church represents this fact, being led into the right gate of the New Jerusalem. The words of the Psalmist (122) are probably appropriate at this stage as well: “I rejoiced when I heard them say, let us go to the house of the Lord. Indeed, our feet are now standing at your gates Oh Jerusalem.”
Indeed, the city gates, in the Ancient Near East, were well known to have been places where justice was dispensed and where redemption was acquired. We recall how Ruth was redeemed by Boaz at the gates of the town of Bethlehem. We also know how the prophet Amos criticised the behaviour of the elders in the city gates when they dispensed injustice. The opening of the Holy Door therefore, reminds us that the gate of the Church remains open to dispense divine justice and this divine justice is the mercy of God. Let us prepare ourselves not only to receive this mercy today, but to be resolved that wherever we go, wherever we find ourselves, the mercy of God may radiate to all.