8/24/08

Word for the Week: August 24


Image by Sedddal Crafts

All God's children got - KEYS!

In the gospel for today's Mass, Jesus tells Peter,

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The Church reads these verses in a very particular way with a unique reference to Peter, his ministry, the ministry of his successors and the authority of the Church.

But there are ways in which everyone of us carries in our pockets and purses keys that can unlock the grace of the kingdom of heaven in our everyday lives.

Sometimes we use those keys freely and sometimes we withhold them. Sometimes we open and free the lives of others and sometimes we allow other to remain locked up, locked in, locked out.

Sometimes we're afraid to use the keys we hold and sometimes we've forgotten that we hold them.

Sometimes we don't trust the keys that are ours and sometimes we may be frightened by the freedom our keys might open for ourselves and for others.

Sometimes we might even believe that we hold no such keys - and how sad is that mistrust. The life of each one of us is a key to grace for those around us and for our own hearts. God leaves none of us without keys to use in unlocking our own freedom as daughters and sons of God and that of those around us. The Spirit gives and knows where all the keys are and the Spirit constantly beckons us to use them, to open up the grace Christ won for us by unlocking the gates of Paradise.

Think of the keys we hold to unlock the shackles of poverty... the leg irons of war... the prisons of homelessness... the cells of injustice... the incarcerated heart... the imprisoned spirit...

Who waits for the freedom that might come of the keys I have been given? What in my own heart waits for the freedom that might come of the keys I hold? What keys to my heart are in the Lord's hand? Dare I ask him to open my heart with his keys?

I'm reminded here of a prayer I wrote some years ago when I used to volunteer at the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton. This is a prayer I shared with inmates there and with those who have worked in other prisons. But you don't need to be behind bars to understand or pray these words. They keys to our hearts' freedom are given by the Lord to all of us. Living the Christian life includes trying the keys so that we might learn what they open and where they need to be used. May the keys Christ has given us unlock the freedom for which our hearts long and for which they were made...

A Prayer For Freedom In My Heart

Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,
when I feel locked up,
locked in and locked down.

Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

when I am walled in by loneliness.


Give me freedom in my heart , Lord,
when I feel imprisoned by my past.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

when anxiety holds me a prisoner of fear.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

when I am confined by days and nights

that pass too slowly.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

so that I can accept your word,

your forgiveness, your peace and your love.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

so that I can share with others
what you have given me.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

so that I can become the person
you made me to be.


Give me freedom in my heart, Lord,

so that I can thank and praise you

for all you have given me

and for all you promise me.


Amen.




-ConcordPastor

1 comment:

mary said...

How very helpful this prayer is too those who are imprisoned by not only bars; but by their minds, pasts, ghosts, guilts, and by people who abused them. My prayer is that that those who read your post are allowed some sort of freedom from their very real pain from their imprisonment.