Fifth Sunday of Easter
The Gospel today shows us that in a very short time the life of the disciples of Jesus would change radically. The world around them and their hope in Jesus were going to collapse. There is only one of two things for them to do: either to despair and leave Jesus completely, or to trust in Jesus and in His promises.
There comes a time when we have to believe what we cannot prove and to accept what we cannot understand. There comes a time in life when in our darkest hour, we continue to believe that there is purpose in life and light will shine again amidst the darkness.
The promise of Jesus that there are many rooms in His Father’s house is just a simple saying that in and with Him there is room for all, and His promise is bright. Here on earth, houses may be full, hotels may be fully booked, residential areas may be overcrowded, and there is no room in the inn, but in the Father’s house no one will be shut out, unless the person will choose to walk into the doors of evil and sin. The Father’s house is as wide as His heart, and His love reaches as far as His arms can reach. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” (Jn 14:1), because, “where I am, there also will my servant be” (Jn 12:26). When a person truly loves somebody, he would like to be with him/her forever. Jesus wants that all men be with him wherever He is, and forever.
Peter spoke of Jesus as the corner-stone of faith, and encouraged Christians to be a spiritual house acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. God is always referred to in the Scriptures as the Rock of Salvation. He was the rock of salvation of the Israelites in the desert, and they were given water from the rock. Scriptures points to Jesus as the rock of salvation. St. Peter made his great confession of faith at Caesarea, Philippi, and Jesus said to him, “You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church” (Mt 16:18). Jesus is the rock on whom we build our Church: our bodies, as temples of the Holy Spirit; our families, as little churches that build the community of believers; and the whole world, as God’s footstool and the temporal home of man, the crown of His creation.
A Spartan king boasted to a visiting monarch about the sturdy and powerful walls of Sparta. The visiting monarch looked around and could see no walls. He asked the king of Sparta, “Where are these walls about which you boast so much?” Pointing to all his bodyguards of magnificent troops, the king said, “These are the walls of Sparta, every man a brick” (sermoncentral.com).
So long as a brick lies by itself, it is useless. It has to be incorporated into the building. No Christian remains alone. He is built into the fabric of the Church and incorporated into the people of God through the sacraments, through the commandments of God, and through the activities and ministries of the Church. Jesus said, I am the vine you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing (Jn 15:5). In the same context, Jesus tells his disciples, this is how all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (Jn 13:35). St. Paul reminds us that the body is not a single part, but many.
This incorporation into the Church and People of God makes us, Christians, a chosen people, and brings to us the privilege of intimate and special relationship with God and, at the same time, the responsibility to be obedient to Him and to His Church.
Let us always reflect on this in every situation of our life. Where there is a privilege, there is always the responsibility for the community. A privilege is good only when used for the good of the community, not for personal gain only. Where a privilege is abused, unrest arises; and we see so much of this in our world today.
In his first letter, St. Peter proclaims, “Beloved, come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:4 ff).
Let us keep ourselves always in the truth and on the way of Jesus, and we will have life in us. This is the truth and the way of the Eucharist: to show us Jesus, to give us Jesus and to let us live in Jesus.