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There are many rooms in my Father’s house

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Sunday 10 May 2020

5th Sunday of Easter

“There are many rooms in my Father’s house.

if there were not, I should have told you.”

This is a line that we often hear at funeral Masses and I think it is comforting at the time of a death to think about the fact that there is somewhere for everyone in heaven. As a builder I think of the physical structure of a large house, there is comfort when thinking of heaven as a house because it is also a home. I believe that heaven is a physical place for our souls. Many rooms gives us the impression of separation as if some will be in one room and others in another room. However, I can’t imagine that there will be any separation in heaven. There would be nothing to base separation on, it will not matter if we have been male or female, catholic or protestant, Irish or Indian. If we have a lived a life that permits our souls to be in the presence of God, then I don’t think there will be any thing else. We will be at one with God. Jesus also explained to us that it’s up to God, when he told the parable about the men coming to work in the vineyard, all the workers were paid the same, it didn’t matter if they started late or early. Our relationship with God is not connected with Gods relationship with others, its entirely a personal and exclusive relationship. I think our only concern will be that those that we knew and loved on earth will also be in that relationship with God.

We also hear Jesus say in today Gospel: “I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.’

Jesus always tells us the most important things when he precedes it with the words “I tell you most solemnly” Not only does he tell us that if we believe in him that we will perform the same works but we will actually perform greater works because he is going to the father. I think at the point that Jesus was saying this, it was as much as he could explain to the apostles. You see at this moment in time they did not know that Jesus was going to be crucified. They had a limited understanding that Jesus was going to be leaving them, but they did not know how. It certainly was not anything like they imagined. Jesus was telling them that because he was going to take on the sins of all mankind that it would free us to do his works. I’m not sure what is meant by even greater works because it’s hard to imagine how any of us could do anything greater than Jesus. I think the only way that I can understand this is by comparing a father saying to a son that because of his life, his experience and probably his sacrifice he has created the opportunity for the son to do more. To take the family further on the journey of life. I think as Irish people we recognise how this can be with previous generations giving their everything to allow their children and their children’s children to be educated, to be free to vote and own their own house. It’s an enormous responsibility for us to contemplate when we think about doing even greater works than Jesus. But it is factual, Jesus seen the potential for us to do even greater works on earth because of his life & death. This is a gift that we have been given, it is a grace from God. It’s essential that we never loose sight of the fact that this is a grace from God and its also essential that we always remember that Jesus has empowered and authorised us to do his works, even greater works than he did. We have the choice to accept this challenge that he gave us or to refuse and to live mediocre lives. Jesus did not give his life for our mediocrity; he gave it so that we would have life and life to the full. Its really exciting for us to have such potential in our lives. The only blockage to us living as Jesus wants us to live is sin. Its so important that we never let sin beat us because it steals our lives. We were given the sacrament of confession so that we can never be trapped by sin, we can always seek out our freedom. The moment we leave confession having accepted the grace of Gods forgiveness, we are Christs, we are what the devil fears most. This is one of the reasons we have to be extra vigilant after confession, the devil will do everything in his power to prevent us being Christs, everything to stop us speaking about God, about goodness about love and about our joyful souls. Everything to prevent us being Christian in not only our words but in our works as well. He will attempt to distract us in more and more cunning ways.

Lord thank you for the graces you give us in our lives, thank you for the freedom from sin to do your works. Help us to know your will in everything we do. Amen.

John 14:1-12

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father’s house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you,

and after I have gone and prepared you a place,

I shall return to take you with me;

so that where I am

you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.

If you know me, you know my Father too.

From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,

so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?

Do you not believe

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:

it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.

You must believe me when I say

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever believes in me

will perform the same works as I do myself,

he will perform even greater works,

because I am going to the Father.’

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