Gospel Reading: Jn 14:1-6
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.”
MANY DWELLING PLACES
At the Last Supper, Jesus intimates to his disciples his coming “departure.” It is the “taking away of the Bridegroom,” and the disciples are certainly sad. But Jesus consoles them that his death actually is but a passage to the Father’s house where he will prepare dwelling places (Greek monai) for them. The word is related to menein which means to stay, remain, or abide with. So John refers here to the place (state or situation) where the disciples can abide with the Father and with Jesus.
“Dwelling places” is a type of Jewish imagery that refers to the destination of the holy and the just. In the New Testament, it is equivalent to “Paradise” or “bosom of Abraham,” that is, eternal habitation or heaven.
Heaven is our eternal destination. It is there that Jesus awaits us, even as he is with us always. Believers, therefore, are to fix their sight on this eternal goal. Here on earth, we do not have a lasting home; instead, we seek the one that is to come (cf Heb 13:14).
“Imagine there’s no heaven…” goes a famous linefrom John Lennon of The Beatles.
Is this really a solution to life’s vicissitudes and contradictions?
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.