. . . an open door to heaven. 

Late in his life, the apostle John found himself on Patmos, a desert island on the Aegean Sea that served as a Roman penal colony.   The emperor Domitian had exiled him there as punishment for his continued preaching about Jesus.   It may have been a dismal setting, but John made the most of it.   He took the opportunity of this time of quiet to compose the Book of Revelation.

In Scripture’s reading (Revelation 4:1) contains one of the most fascinating and encouraging images in Revelation:   an open door to heaven.   Take a moment to think about that:   heaven is not locked up anymore.   No, it’s open to everyone who welcomes the Lord into their hearts.

By telling us about heaven’s open door, John is inviting us to look in and gaze upon its beauty.   He’s telling us that God loves to share his wisdom and insights with us.   He’s assuring us that God won’t slam the door in our faces if we try to peer in.   Quite the opposite:   God wants to reveal himself to us.

Now, it could have been enough for God just to give us a glimpse of heaven, but he went far beyond that.   By sending his Son to us and by raising him from the dead, God brought heaven down to earth.   That opened door is right in front of you—all the time!

You might be asking yourself, “How can I possibly look into heaven?”   Well, think about John in his solitary exile.   If anyone could have felt far from God’s reach, it was probably him.   But look at what happened.   God opened heaven for him.

That same door is open for you.   Maybe when you are at Mass, you are struck by how great and majestic and powerful God is.   Or maybe gratitude for Jesus’ love wells up in you as you picture the angels and saints praising God.   Or maybe an unexpected kind word from a friend gives you comfort and reassures you of God’s provision.   Each of these, and so many more, is a glimpse into heaven!

So don’t be afraid to approach that open door.   Go ahead and look in.   God has so much he wants to show you!

Word Among Us