HOMILY EASTER SEASON WEEK 04 05 – Year I
A Home for Us All
(Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2; Jn 14.1-6)
The late Oblate missionary, René Fumoleau, recounts the story of a house that burned down to the ground in one of the Indigenous communities he served in the NWT. When someone tried to console one of the children at the loss of their home, the young girl replied they still had a home, they just didn’t have any beds.
The readings today assure us that we have a permanent home with Jesus and our Trinitarian God who is intimate relationship and family.
In the gospel, Jesus shares comforting words with his disciples just before entering into his passion. He was about to return to the Father, and to prepare a place, a home for us. The many rooms in the Father’s house, suggests that God’s prodigal love and saving power is much broader than perhaps some people might tend to judge or think, and that is reassuring.
In the opera “West Side Story,” there is a song entitled “There is a Place for Us.” Songs about home are archetypal. Longing for a place, a home, is also archetypal. Biblically, home is about eternal life and eternal rest. Home is in the heart of the Trinity.
I was visiting a family one day when their 15-year-old daughter came in from a soccer tournament, threw down her duffel bag, went straight to her dad, sat on his lap, put her arm around his shoulder, laid her head against his and stayed there for a full two minutes, just soaking up his love, all without saying a word. He kept talking to me over her, while his wife carried on making supper and her siblings quietly kept on playing. I felt deeply touched and moved to my depths by this intimate, loving relationship between a father and his daughter. I thought this intimate experience of family was as close as I will get in this life to seeing God with these eyes – Father, Mother and children mirroring the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
That God is love and intimate relationship might be the deepest theological description of God there is. For love to truly be love, there needs to be three entities – a lover, a beloved, and the love between the two. That also applies to God. The Father is the lover; Jesus the beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son.
Jesus describes himself in the gospel as the way, the truth and the life. According to The Word Among Us, as the Way, Jesus is the perfect Son of the Father who showed us how to live and how to love. And every word Jesus spoke was the Truth. When he made a promise, it was fulfilled. Every miracle he performed, every parable he told, every sermon he preached demonstrated the love our heavenly Father has for us and the way he wants us to live in love with each other.
Jesus is also the Life. To know Jesus is to be fully alive because he has given us a share in his own divine life. He has chosen to live in us, to make his home in us, to place his own life in our hearts and to make that life the wellspring of our own lives. He comes to satisfy our deepest needs and to rejoice with us at every good gift. He comes to teach us, to fill us and to guide us.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. In him, we lack nothing. He has given us so much more than pardon for our sins, He has given us a whole new way of living a life in union with him and his heavenly Father. As I like to put it, our Catholic spirituality can be summed up in one sentence: We are coming back to the Father through Jesus, in the Spirit, with Mary our Mother.
The Eucharist is a deep act of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, Savior, Son of God and Risen Lord. We listen to his Word and receive his Body and Blood. Having worshipped him, we are then sent out to spread the good news of God’s love in Jesus, inviting others to make their home in the Trinity.