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Father Raymond Finch
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May 20 at 4:42 AM
"Open the door of your heart"
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"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. [Jesus] said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.'"​

John 20:19-23
Dear Deacon Nguyen,

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"


"Through locked doors?"

"Yes! And even through hardened hearts!"

Picture the disciples hunkered down behind locked doors after the crucifixion in fear of the Sanhedrin, and the look of surprise on their faces when the Risen Lord suddenly appeared!

There are no doors that can shut out Christ's presence.

The Apostle John records our Lord's post-resurrection appearances to Mary Magdalene, to the disciples in the Upper Room, and to "Doubting Thomas", but it is His second appearance to the disciples that presents a perplexing question. When Jesus passed through locked doors into the room in which the disciples were hiding, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the holy Spirit.." (John 20:22)

Was that a prelude to Pentecost?

The Greek verb used for the act of God breathing life into Adam in Genesis 2:7 is the same one used in John's Gospel for Jesus breathing into His disciples. Jesus' breath is prophetic of the Holy Spirit-breath that came at Pentecost after He had ascended into heaven. The gift of the indwelling Spirit had not yet been made complete.

But it took a willingness to accept the gift—partial or complete—on the part of the recipients. To be in touch with the spirit liberating us from chains and locked doors requires faith and trust that Jesus is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He is going to do.

Prayer for Pentecost Sunday​

God of mercy and life,
You saved us through Jesus
and charged us with bringing
His good news to all the world.

Send down your Holy Spirit
into our hearts
and transforms our lives
to overcome fear, pride and envy.

Empower us to live out Christ's command
to love our neighbor and our enemies and
to reach out to those who have yet to hear
how forgiveness, healing and joy are possible.

Through our baptism Christ calls us forth
to cross borders and barriers separating people;
and gather people of every nation
into one family and kingdom of God.

In Jesus' name.


~ Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.
Dinh, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." (John 21:21) Jesus is opening the locked doors of our hearts today. What is He calling us to do in our life's work, and will we answer when he knocks?

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Our mailing address is:
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
PO Box 302
Maryknoll, NY 10545