Crossing the Threshold was an Evangelisation Tour throughout Britain in 2011-13 with a stress on outreach to non-practicing Catholics. I have been asked to share a few thoughts.
For me, crossing the threshold is all about opening doors – from within and from the outside.
From within, we open doors when:
How many of us who are safe in the church teeter on the threshold:
Yet Pope Francis recently said he preferred a Church that made mistakes to a Church that was safe and closed and self-sufficient because such a Church was sick and even dead! The time has come to stand up and be counted – at least then we will be alive!
From the outside, if we put ourselves in the shoes of others especially onlookers, and non-believers, we find they are looking for:
Can we throw open the doors for them?
This may be the most momentous step they will ever take.
It is no accident that Pope Benedict chose to talk about opening doors when he inaugurated the Year of Faith.
Don’t shut the door in the face of someone who is searching with ‘I don’t know you’. How terrible it would be for us to reach the gate of heaven and hear the same words from Christ, ‘Behold, I do not know you... as long as you did it – or did not do it – to the least of my children you did it – or neglected to do it – for me.’
Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle