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The Open Door

Vince was the kind of person who had a hard time staying with something that he started. He’d begin a project with all kinds of enthusiasm, but then would lose interest when he realized that the end result would take a lot of hard work and a lot of time.

This was something that his mother noticed from early on. Vince was an average student in school, but probably could have done better had he applied himself more. His parents had to keep reminding their son that he needed to stay focused and get his school work done rather than watch TV and play video games. And since Vince didn’t have a sense of discipline, he would often find himself in trouble.

Whenever he did get into trouble, his mother would remind Vince that when he was a baby he was brought to church by his Mom and Dad and that they had said a special prayer that God would keep their baby safe, and that God would see to it that Vince live a good life.

Years later, when Vince finally started to put the pieces of his life together, thanks in most part to the positive influence of the girl he would eventually marry, and realize that he needed to be more responsible, he would think back on what his Mom kept reminding him of, that his parents had prayed that God would see to it that Vince live a good life. This became the “open door” for Vince to become aware of the power of God in his life. This brought him to the realization that Christ died for all those who have weaknesses. Christ took away our sins when he was nailed to the cross. By doing this Christ showed the commitment, love and regard that he has for each of us.

And Vince also began to realize that by receiving the Holy Eucharist he would have contact with Christ himself. This made Vince start to pray more often. He saw that one
could communicate with God through Christ. And he began to rely on God more and more. All of this really helped Vince become a more reliable and responsible

There’s two points here from this story: It was the seed of faith planted by Vince’s parents that eventually began to take root in his life. The important realization that God had played a part in getting Vince to change his ways. Vince gradually saw that he couldn’t save himself. His honesty with himself and the positive influence of others let him see that he had to turn to the one with the greater power. Eventually Vince learned to rely on God one day at a time.

Today, as we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord we see how Simeon and Anna saw something very different in this baby who was being brought into the Temple to fulfill Mosaic Law. They saw him as the Messiah. And in seeing this their lives were complete. These two older people could now die in peace because that knew that there was hope for the world. Christ, the light has come!

All of know that we possess certain weaknesses. Whether we admit it or not is another matter. But here’s the thing that’s important to remember: When to do turn to prayer, don’t make that prayer be, “Lord, I’m going to change”. Instead pray, “Christ, help me today. Help me to do what it is you are asking of me”. Just ask for the grace to get through the day. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

Remember this promise from Scripture: If you search for God, you will find him. Christ came to save us, and sometimes this means saving us from ourselves. So, thank you parents if they were the ones who planted the seed of faith deep down within you trusting that somehow God would make it come to the surface. And keep your eyes focused on Christ and not on yourself—-that will make all the difference.

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