5th Sunday of Easter, Year A – 17

5th Sunday of Easter, Year A – 17

Acts 6:1-7/ 1 Peter 2:4-9/ John 14:1-12

Today we thank our mothers, pray for them and honor them by celebrating Mother’s Day and by offering our mothers on the altar of God. Today is Mother’s Day.

Today is one of the most beautiful days of the year. Let us consider for a moment the thoughts of two great men about the role their mothers played in their lives.

George Washington once said, “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.”

Abraham Lincoln spoke similar words when he said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.” Unfortunately, many people in our society would not agree with these great men who had great mothers.

I wish every one of the Mothers, a very Happy Mother’s Day and God bless you all.

It is not that often that we hear the topic of hell being preached. Yes, we would like to hear some fire-and-brimstone preaching but listening to preaching about hell is not that exciting. Anyway, more or less we know what hell is like.

From what Jesus said, it is a place where “the worms never die and the fire never goes out.” (Mk.9:48) That would give us an idea of what hell is like. But others may have other descriptions of hell.

I think it is Enough of hell. We are supposed to know more about heaven. So, what is heaven like? Going by what we see from religious art, heaven seems to be like a place of light, many angels stand on what look like clouds, and people with halos.

At least, that is the picture we get from cartoons. But what did Jesus say that heaven is like? From today’s gospel, He has this to say: There are many rooms in my Father’s house. So, the picture that we get is that heaven is a place that has many, many rooms.

And from what Jesus said, it seems that each of us has a special room prepared for us. That is quite a nice thought, especially for those of us who don’t have a place to call our own here on earth.

We will certainly look forward to going to heaven and there we can finally rest in this special room of ours, and it will be forever and ever. That is what Jesus promised us and He even urged us to trust in God and trust in Him.

Yes, we have to trust in Jesus and His promise to us, because we can so easily lose grip of that promise. And Jesus warns us about that when He said: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trouble is a dangerous word, and it becomes more dangerous when it creeps into our hearts.

In the 1st reading, we heard how trouble crept into the early Church community. At the time when the disciples were increasing, the Hellenists (the Greek-speaking disciples) made a complaint against the Hebrews, because in the daily distribution, their own widows were being overlooked.

There was unfairness, and there was unhappiness over it. Complaints were made and trouble was brewing. Relationships were strained and the community was in danger of breaking up.

The promises of Jesus seemed to have been forgotten and faded off because of this trouble. But we must realize that this trouble was self-created. And the Apostles realized that and they had recourse to prayer to find a way out of this trouble.

And if the early Church could be afflicted with troubles, so too can be the present Church. And if the disciples could let trouble creep in and make them complain against each other, we too can end up complaining.

But we must realize what the trouble is with us. We must realize what the problem is with us. Essentially, the problem with us is that we create our own troubles.

When our hearts are troubled, we resort to complaining and we lose hold of the promises of Jesus. There is a story of a man who got tired of his wife and wanted a divorce.

However, he was afraid that his young 5-year-old daughter would be traumatized by it, so he told his daughter: Mummy is getting old and not pretty anymore. So, let daddy get a new and pretty mummy for you, ok?

The little girl thought for a while and then she replied: No, I don’t want. Grandma is very old, but you didn’t go and get a new grandma. The little girl was happy with what she had, whereas her daddy was asking for trouble with what he was unhappy about.

People may wish that their marriage is made in heaven. But thunder and lightning also happens in heaven. Similarly, Jesus said that we are made for heaven. But it doesn’t mean that there will be no thunder or lightning or other troubles in our lives.

But even with the thunder and lightning and troubles, let us stay close to Jesus. He is the Way, we must follow Him; He is the Truth, we must believe in Him. And in His heart, He has a special place for each of us.

To stay in His heart and remain there, that is what heaven is all about. That is what our life is all about. Thomas asked, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

Thomas had three qualities in his relationship with the Master: 1. Acceptance: He said, let us go and die with him: Thomas accepted the challenge to die with the Master. 2. Dialogue: “Thomas entered in a dialogue with the Master asking the question the way he is going.

  1. Commitment: “Thomas said after experiencing the Risen Lord, “My Lord and My God”.

Jesus’ words bring great comfort to the disciples who were saddened by the revelation that he is going back to his father. They fear at the thought of losing him. He reminded him that the ultimate destination is Father’s house.

Jesus will not abandon his disciples. But will do whatever they ask in his name. Jesus urges his disciples to believe in him and to do the work that he does. The disciples of the Early Church carried out his work and fulfilled his mission.

They were filled with Holy Spirit and were committed to serving others and giving witnessing to Jesus. He, who sees me, sees the Father. These words prove clearly Christ’s consubstantiality, or unity of nature, with the father.

So, we need to accept Jesus as the Way, Truth and the Life. We accept Jesus as the Way by walking the narrow way of loving, humble and sacrificial service.

We accept Jesus the Truth by learning and practicing what he taught as given in the Bible and in the teachings of the Church. We share the Divine life of God by making use of the means Jesus established in his Church. Amen.