Letting Jesus Out

May 6, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, an email came through my inbox with a link to Pope Francis’ pre-conclave remarks.  I non-nonchalantly clicked on the link preparing to skim whatever article appeared.  I began skimming until I came across Pope Francis’ words that stopped me dead in my tracks:

In Revelation, Jesus says that he is at the door and knocks. Obviously, the text refers to his knocking from the outside in order to enter but I think about the times in which Jesus knocks from within so that we will let him come out. The self-referential Church keeps Jesus Christ within herself and does not let him out.

In the past 16 years of ministry, I read many reflections, heard many talks, and experienced many prayer services on the image of Jesus standing at the door and knocking.  Never once, did I think of the image of Jesus within us knocking to let him come out.
These three sentences continue to stay with me, and I continue to take them to prayer.  Jesus is within me.  Jesus is within my organization (Charis Ministries). Jesus is within our church.   What does it mean, though, to let Jesus out?   I feel Jesus beckoning, pounding loudly on the door of my heart, “Let me out! Let me out! Let me out!”
hand knocking at door
  • How do I let Jesus out in terms of my personal life?
  • Am I letting Jesus come out in my relationship with my spouse?  Do I let Jesus come out in my interactions with my children?
  • What about in my professional life?
  • Am I letting Jesus out in my interactions with my colleagues?  in the young adults with whom I work?
  • Is our organization, a Jesuit retreat ministry for those in their 20s and 30s, opening the door to let Jesus out in the world?
  • What about within my church?
  • Are we letting Jesus out into the world?  Or are we keeping Jesus within– as he is something only for those who believe as we do or for those who meet our standards?
There is a strong, urgent, powerful invitation in Pope Francis’ image of Jesus knocking from within us.  Do we have the courage to open the door within us to fully let Jesus out into our lives?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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