Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 32; 1Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12
Today’s gospel presents us with some basic themes: Divine consolation in the face of anxieties; the nature of heaven, the function and the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ. The first and second readings present us with the ways to tackle problems as a chosen race and a royal priesthood.
Talking about Divine Consolation; Jesus says in John14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me”. This statement implies that there is trouble in the world. In fact, Jesus says in John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” Therefore, even as we go through this dark moment of our existence; Jesus offers us the very consolation he gave to the Apostles: do not let your heart be troubled. Anxiety is one of the worst enemies of man that man unleashes upon himself. It kills man even before his death. Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness across many nations of the world today. It comes with nearly everything that affects man. It shows in excessive nervousness and indecisiveness, and unrest. Take life easy; it has no spare. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Phil. 4:6-7 says “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Talking about the nature of heaven, Jesus says: “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”. There are many implications as to these rooms; but it can simply mean that in God there are many opportunities and possibilities. Therefore, Jesus says do not be afraid. In this world, people may shut their doors upon you. But in heaven you will never be shut out. And so he promised, “where I am there you also will be”. Heaven is that place where we will always be with Jesus. Numbers 1023 and 1024 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness”. In heaven one experiences the beatific vision. The Church holds that, by his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has ‘opened’ heaven to us and so he says there are many rooms.
Talking about function of Jesus in the gospel, Jesus says “I am going to prepare a place for you.” Cohabitation with Jesus requires preparation. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. People prepare for a lot of things; physical and material; matriculation, birthdays, marriages, ordination and the likes. In fact, a lot of people prepared themselves in the recent lockdown. They got so much food stuff that will perhaps take them till next year. This lockdown, for me was just a child’s play compared to the absolute lockdown that will come at the end of time. Let us prepare therefore for that absolute lockdown. So that the D-Day whenever it comes will not be a shock to us.
How do we prepare? Jesus says “I am the way the truth and the life.” Today there are many ways: the way of lust, the way of drugs, the way of quick money, and many other ungodly ways. Prov. 14:12 warns that there is a way that seem right onto a man but the end is death. Jesus is the way, that is right, and the end of that way is eternal life. Lastly, talking about the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ in the gospel; Jesus says ‘I will come again and will take you to myself’ This implies the second coming. This second coming of Jesus Christ is a fact of faith every Christian teaching and preaching must emphasize. Preachers today have relegated and altered the meaning of the second coming. The best sermons today are on prosperity, prophecies and miracles. Beloved, Christ will come again at a time that is in the heart of the Father. This coming is not one of fear and horrendous thing that people have predicted. It is also not one of anxiety as some people recently held that COVID 19 is Christ’s second coming. Rather, it is one of joyful hope just as we say in that little prayer between the two parts of the Our Father at Mass: “… as we await in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Thus, the second coming of Christ is going to be a joyful and a blessed experience. God bless you.
Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.