5th Sunday of Easter (April 24, 2016)

5th Sunday of Easter (April 24, 2016)

 

What makes your house/apartment/condo different from other houses?  A nice view of the lake?  A swimming pool in the back?  A cool setup in the basement?  Antique furnishings?  The most significant thing that makes your house different from all other houses is the fact that YOU live there.  That’s really what makes all the difference; that’s really what makes it so special. 

 

From the Book of Revelation we hear these amazing words, “I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.’” 

 

Brothers and sisters, the living God of the universe wants to dwell with us/wants to share His life with us in a most intimate and complete and dynamic way!  We have to see this as something special (to say the least)!  We have to see this as making all the difference for us!  And what does this difference mean?  “The One who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”  God looks to dwell in us—in order to make us a new creation, to put the old order to death and make newness of life rise up within us.  What new thing may God be doing (or want to do) in our own lives? in the life of our family? in the life of our parish?

 

On the night before He died for us, we hear Jesus say to His Apostles, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  Jesus is the perfect model of this love through His dwelling among us and the pouring out of Himself on the Cross for our redemption and salvation.  This self-offering of Christ is poured out for us again and again through the Eucharist.  Having the very Presence of Christ dwelling intimately with us leads us to share in His self-giving Love: giving ourselves over to be people of charity, mercy, forgiveness, and justice; witnessing to the living presence of God in our lives; helping others to come to know the transforming and saving power of God; helping others to know who God is, and who they are in God.  In the Acts of the Apostles, we see Paul and Barnabas proclaiming the good news, strengthening the spirits of the disciples, reporting what God had done with them and how He opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (i.e., to all).

 

Earlier in the Book of Revelation, the Lord proclaims, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” [Rev 3:20].  Before we enter into the great wedding banquet of the Lamb here in the Mass, we declare, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”  Is Jesus just a passing guest for us, or do we truly welcome Him to live with us, to heal us, to make us new, to fill us with a love that overflows?  This really is what makes all the difference.