The other day I was walking along Dominick Street right after choir practice when all of a sudden I noticed a church on my left-hand side. Now, I’ve walked this route dozens of times, but for some reason I’d never noticed this church before. As I walked past it I noticed the door was closed. Right away I was reminded of the scene in the Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Quasimodo is holding the gypsy, Esmeralda, over his head at the top of the famous cathedral yelling, “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”
When did churches start keeping their doors closed? From what I understand, the purpose of a church is to have a peaceful, safe place to pray and seek solace for whatever may be happening in one’s life. At all times. But from what I’ve seen, with churches here and back home, more often than not a church’s doors are closed like any other building at the ‘end of the day.’
I can only assume that this happens for security reasons, making sure no one comes in and vandalizes the sanctuary or steals from the building or uses it as a place to smoke up. But what that tells me is that the church is more concerned about the material possessions within than being a safe haven for those that need it most, many of whom I’d say probably have issues with vandalism or stealing or addiction. Did not Jesus especially talk about helping the poor and less fortunate, the most ‘lowly’ of sinners? He asks that we open our hearts to these people, but we also have to physically open our church doors as well. Only then will the church truly be a sanctuary.
That is all.