Keys are the “key” to so many things. We unlock the doors to our houses with keys (even if now in the form of a key pad). We start our cars with keys (even if it looks like a button remote from a fancy vehicle). Scientists are always looking for the one thing – the key – that unlocks the mystery they are trying to solve. Some of us know (repeatedly) the frustration of looking for our keys that have somehow not been in their regular place, especially when we’re late for work. Most of us can probably tell stories of our worst experiences with (or without) keys.
Today the “O” Antiphon presents Jesus as the key that unlocks the gates of the kingdom of God. We could think of that as imaging St. Peter standing at “the pearly gates” of heaven to let us in when we pass from this world. I’m thinking, however, of Jesus here on earth saying that “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” So, taking that statement to heart, we must consider that this is not something that can be done for us but rather that is done by us. How do we open to the kingdom of God within us? It seems we must give ourselves over to the action of Christ’s Spirit in us in conscious awareness, so that in that merger we come to know the openness of unconditional love. In that knowing we are free and able to access the light of God that is our truest self.
O Key of David, ruler of life, you unlocked the door to God’s kingdom. Come, pry loose the lynch pins of our hearts and open us to your advent!