O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison-house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
I could go on and on about Isaiah and the Gospel of Matthew, about the power of the keys of Peter.
But I’ll say just this one bit.
We picture Saint Peter at the pearly gates of heaven with keys in heaven, ready to unlock them for us, hopefully, when it is our turn to present ourselves there.
Many jokes have been made about what people will say, proving their worthiness, and so on. Ho hum.
Firstly, the keys are not held by Peter in heaven, but by his successor on earth, and he gives those keys to his bishops to whom he provides a pastoral mandate, and they give these keys to their priests for use, for instance, in the confessional, for absolution of sins.
Secondly, while it is true that it is only our good works which will follow us to heaven, the proof that those works were in fact good will have to be demonstrated by the love of humble thanksgiving we offered to our Lord by going to confession and saying our sins and being absolved.
We only need to tell Peter that we know all about the blood of the Lord which has provided us life in the confessional. It will be his greatest joy to let us into heaven forever and ever. Amen.
I’m sure that those in prison over Christmas time hold fast to this O Antiphon: “Come and lead prisoners from the prison-house!”
But do we know that we are all prisoners on this earth until we get to heaven? If we don’t, we might not have those keys turned in our favor.
Confession is a wonderful sacrament of great joy. Just check your face the next time you go to confession (soon!). You’ll note a huge smile on your face as you leave the confessional after having made a good confession of any and all mortal sins in kind and number and important circumstance that adds to the sinfulness. See the series on Confession on the sidebar of the blog: http://holysoulshermitage.com