At the door

At The Door

A Parable of 3 Men

A man comes to your door. He tells you that he wants to come in and stay with your family.

You do not know him. He is a stranger. Persisting, he explains that he has told everybody about you. Yet, he has not met you personally. Of course, you send him away.

A man comes to your door. He tells you that he wants to come in and stay with your family.

You recognize him as a friend. You want to throw your arms around him and welcome him — but there is a problem. Despite your love for him, he has arrived dirty and unsuitable to enter your spotless home. You have him shower and put on clean clothes. He is now prepared to join the others and you warmly embrace him.

A man comes to your door. He tells you that he wants to come in and stay with your family.

You recognize him as a friend. Unlike the second man, he is fully prepared to join the feast. For him, the door is opened quickly and he is welcomed warmly into the home.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

So it is with Heaven.

The First Man

The first man does not know the Lord. He may know about our Lord, but does not have a personal relationship with Him. He did not choose to build one. Had he done so, he could have known our Lord and His will. Perhaps he was uninterested or too busy…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

The Second Man

The second man knows the Lord! He has been “in regular contact” – praying, listening and obeying, although imperfectly so. When he came before the throne of the Lord, he was not completely ready. As he presented himself, he was not perfect but carried the scars of sin. Yet he came in God’s friendship, free of mortal sin. In God’s mercy he is cleansed by the fire of Purgatory until he too is perfect.

“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.

but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire.

The Third Man

The third man knows the Lord AND is ready to meet him! His heart is already pure and the beatific vision awaits him.

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

Which one are you?

  1. Do you know the real Christ or have you fashioned a version of Him to your liking?
  2. Do you text, e-mail and call other people more often than you pray?
  3. Are your prayers in charity or are they selfish?
  4. Do you make a sincere effort to seek God’s will and listen for His voice?

Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD – but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire – but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.

When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?


  1. A few of my thoughts:

    The parable caught my attention right away. It made me think of how I would feel if this happened to me. I’m timid about letting anyone I don’t know into my home, much less allowing them to stay with us.

    The quotation from 1Kings is near and dear to the heart of Carmelites who consider Elijah the fiery prophet of Carmel.

    I learned the acronym ACTS when I was a child and still use it. There was a time when we had an extended period of silence after Holy Communion, and I would pray one of each kind of prayer after receiving Communion. Now, there’s not enough time to do that because there is usually a hymn being sung. But I manage to pray each kind of prayer at some time during a typical day.

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