“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
These words are so beautiful! How can we think of any of the other scripture verses in the readings for mass today? They so completely dominate your heart.
Can you feel Christ’s kindness, his gentleness and his compassion in these words? They are Living Words. Words of love, and life.
Jesus knows that we are all afraid to die. Death is the great unknown. Some people are so petrified of dying that they avoid the subject at all costs, or refuse to come to a dying person’s bedside, because they just can not face and accept, death. But, it is an honor and a privilege to be with another person during the last days or hours of their life. Love makes the transition into the next life. Only love lives on. During the last hours of our life, our possessions, our career, our education or lack of education, and our accomplishments will not matter. Who is gathered around our bedside, and those who we loved during our lives will be the only thing that matters. Love brought us into this world and what a beautiful thing it is, when love accompanies us to the end of our life’s journey.
When death comes for us though, we do not need to fear it. So many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have passed this way before us. If they can do it, we can too. And that is the point Jesus is making in today’s gospel. He went before his disciples. Jesus passed through death first and prepared for their arrival. When it was time, he said he would come back for them.
He told his disciples, “I will come back again and take you to myself.” How much more beautiful could any words be that we have ever read in the scriptures? “I will take you to myself.” Perhaps Jesus will be waiting for us too, to go into his arms after we die. He will take us to himself too, because he loves us just as much as his disciples of long ago.
There are many dwelling places in his Father’s house … perhaps our new home is already being prepared for us too. Maybe by our family and friends, those we have loved during our lives? It’s speculation, that’s true, but those we have loved are already there with Jesus, in our Father’s house.
It doesn’t sound like heaven is a “one size fits all” either. What a joy it will be to see it one day. A present as yet unwrapped.
When we die, we will not go through this alone. Our family and friends are with us during our lives, and they may be there to greet us on the other side, but our church family will also be there too. Actually, we will never be alone once we become part of God’s family, and Christ’s brother or sister. This is the beauty of our faith. We travel this journey together, through it all.
Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Do you truly believe this? Do you hear the voice of truth in Jesus’s words in the gospel today? They are Living Words. Jesus is the doorway into eternal life. We do not pass this way alone though. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have gone before us … and love will draw us home.