5th Sunday of Easter
Every summer for as long as I can remember my family and I take a vacation. We usually head to the Jersey shore or some other beach location in another state. When we take these trips, we always rent a house for the week and there is always much discussion about size, location and of course, what the house and all of its rooms are like. Does each person get their own bedroom, or do they have to share it, as well as what the size of the room is and do the beds look comfortable? I am sure many of you have had this experience as more and more rent homes on VRBO or Airbnb. Renting a home for vacation has become very typical.
Once the home is decided upon there is usually the discussion about how we get to said rental home, how long we will be staying and how many cars we need to pack up to get there. When the trip is out of state and further away, the discussion about the best way to get there takes place. When I was a kid, there was no GPS, and you actually had a map which was an even longer discussion about the route and or “way” to get to the rental home.
In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus says to his Disciples “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” And then He says, “I am going to prepare a place for you.” These words that Jesus speaks to His Disciples are meant for you and I. Imagine the best vacation home you have ever stayed in, that house, and those rooms are nothing compared to what Jesus has prepared for you and me. In fact, envision your own dream home and the place Jesus has for you and I is even better than that. Understand this, the room Jesus is preparing for you, is JUST for you! It’s personal. And the room is so much more than a room or space, it is where we will find God Himself. Our eyes and hearts will be fully open to the holiness and beauty of God in that moment and His love for us.
Like a vacation, that “room” will be a place of rest and refreshment. The Catechism of the Church tells us that “room”, heaven, is the ultimate end and fulfillment of our deepest human longings and the state of supreme definitive happiness. That dwelling place is our home. It’s not just some place we will visit for a while like a vacation home. And Jesus tells us to have faith and not worry in this Gospel. He says, “where I am going you may also be.” Those words bring such joy to my heart, knowing that having faith in God will bring me home. Thomas, one of the Disciples says to Jesus that they do not know the way to that place He is speaking about and Jesus says to him. “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Thomas was looking for literal directions, a road map or GPS of sorts. Jesus says He is the way. In other words He is all that you and I need to get where we are going, to ultimately get home. He is all we need in our daily lives as well.
This Gospel should give us all great cause to be joy filled and hopeful this Sunday and every day. The Lord is not leaving us but will continue to be here with us through the Holy Spirit. He goes to prepare a place for you and me. Our lives here are meant to be better when we follow Him and trust and believe that He truly is the way. Our lives with Jesus are eternal, and He will lead us home. Not for a little while like a vacation, but always. All of this and so much more awaits us when we give the Lord our yes!