I Am Going to Prepare a Place For You

In today’s Gospel from St. John, Jesus tells his disciples not to be troubled – that in his “Father’s house there are many dwelling places” and that Jesus is going to prepare a place for them. He then promises that He will return “and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”

This is a powerful reading for me and I keep coming back to both of the quoted lines above. Jesus’ statement that there are many dwellings in His Father’s place promises room for everyone; and not just room for everyone, but room for everyone. I hear the statement as a reminder not just that there is plenty of space, but that those welcomed will not all look the same. Not everyone for whom there is room necessarily fits someone else’s picture of what a perfect Christian or Catholic looks like. As I’ve said before, Catholicism is a big tent and can accomodates a lot of different sorts of people.

The other line in the reading that speaks to powerfully to me is Jesus promise to come back so that “where I am you also my be.” This same sentiment is expressed again by Jesus later in John’s Gospel, in Jesus’ prayer to His Father before his arrest. Jesus expresses to His Father his “wish that where I am they also may be with me.” I’m staggered every time I read these lines at the expression of Jesus’ desire for us. It is not just that we wish to be with Him, but that His deep desire is to have us with Him always. All of us. And each of us. That is a pretty powerful reality to get in touch with.