USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Good News Reflection:
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus talks about preparing a place for us in heaven. But is that the only reason why he says: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled”? Is he only speaking of our afterlife? We need to find peace in the midst of the troubling times we have right now!
He said: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.” Think of it this way: Our hearts are dwelling places where Christ lives here on earth, right? The Father’s house is the entire kingdom of God — i.e., not just heaven, which we’ll experience someday, but his kingdom right now, wherever it exists in this world. In God’s kingdom, there are many hearts that hold Christ. And wherever Christ dwells, his love reaches out to us.
“I am going to prepare a place for you,” Jesus says. Feeling lonely? Are you worn out and beaten down from dealing with troublesome people? Could you benefit from having more friends who hold Christ in their hearts and who understand your needs and problems, people who could be companions on your journey, who can be the voice of Jesus when you can’t hear him in the storm?
Jesus is preparing a place for you in the hearts of others! Have you asked for this? There are people around you who have given their lives to him, who are allowing him to transform their hearts, who know him as the way, the truth, and the life they live. And because he cares so much about you, he will come back again and take you to himself through their gestures of love, so that where he is in them you also will be.
He has hand-selected certain people for you and he wants you to find the place in their hearts that he’s already prepared for you. Will you open yourself to them? Will you take the risk and trust God in them? Will you take action and make time to develop these relationships or will you neglect some potentially wonderful opportunities?
Just as Jesus has prepared a place for you in the hearts of others, so too has he been preparing a place for them in your heart.
Closed hearts are troubled hearts. Ironically, we close our hearts to protect them from trouble. We know that, sooner or later, everyone to whom we open ourselves will hurt us. Ahhh, but the fear of being vulnerable and open means we’re forgetting that Jesus dwells in our hearts and he can heal our hearts when others sin against us.
Someday, we will go to the home that Jesus is preparing for us in heaven. There, everyone will love us as much as Jesus loves us. What about today? Are you willing to trust Jesus to carry you through the imperfections of earthly relationships?
In times of concern and difficulties, You Lord, are the peace and hope and strength that lead me forward. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica