In the first lesson, the king warns us to be vigilant. It is our duty as Christians to be prepared when God summons us for judgment. If we are not ready, the door will be closed with no exceptions.
The second lesson has more dire consequences. It is true that through God’s mercy the door is still open but when we go through the door we must bring with us an obedient life, fully accepting of the love and responsibility God gives us.
My friends, grace is not only a gift. It is a responsibility. Christians cannot go on living the life they lived before Jesus, what Paul calls the old self. The door is opened not so the sinner can take advantage of the moment and remain a sinner, no, he must become a saint. Christians must be clothed with a new purity, a new holiness and a new goodness, that transcends earthly living. Our participation in this earthly Liturgy helps us be ready for our partaking in the Divine Liturgy of heaven. How we prepare for Mass is a metaphor of our preparation for heaven.
How do we prepare for Mass? Do we practice our obligation to fast one hour before receiving Holy Communion? Do we dress well for Mass? What prayers do we say to prepare our mind and heart for Mass and do we observe the great silence before Mass.
All these things help us prepare to enter more deeply the mysteries we are called to celebrate. What wonderful things would happen here do you suppose, if when the door of Christ’s heart opens for us in the Eucharist, all of us were completely focused and ready to enter.
As Isaiah said in his reading today, ‘on that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!” This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!’