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.
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by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Do you ever long with nostalgia for the “good old days”?
I wonder if the early Christians—after the excitement of the first Pentecost had worn off—longed for their own “good old days.” As they found themselves “in for the long haul”—trying to set up structures and institutions for the growing community—did they wish they were back when it was just Jesus and a little band of disciples?
The passage from the Last Supper in John’s Gospel today seems to anticipate that situation. Jesus reassures his troubled followers that he’s going to prepare a place for them. When they want to know the “way” to this place, Jesus tells them that he is “the way.”
The disciples will go on to do Christ’s work—a mission to a wider world. Elsewhere in that Last Supper discourse Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be present to remind them of all he’s said and done.
The spread of the Gospel challenged the fledgling community as the Church grew and encompassed other languages, cultures and regions. New structures and new ministries would be needed. The same is true in our day. Facing a new millennium, we need to know the Holy Spirit—Christ’s gift to the Church—is present to teach us what’s needed today and unite us to Christ—our way, our truth and our life.
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by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• As we hear in the first reading (Acts 6:1-7), the growing number of believers created a problem for the apostles. What was that problem? How did they solve the it?
After the community chose “seven reputable men” what did the apostles do?
• In the second reading (1Pt 2:4-9), Peter uses the image of building a house. Who are the “living stones?”
How should the followers of Jesus live?
Who is the cornerstone of the church?
• In this week’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus, at the Last Supper, spoke of his departure and tells the disciples not to be upset. Why does he want them to trust in his promise?
Thomas questions Jesus. What does he ask for?
Philip asks to see the Father. What answer does Jesus give him?
Jesus says that he is the way and the truth and the life. What does that mean for you?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Struggling to find things for your kids to do while you’re staying at home? Download these coloring pages.
• In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples to have faith in him and talks about the many dwelling places within his Father’s house. In the spirit, see how well you know your house by taking a trust walk. Have one person close his or her eyes and have another person lead that person around the house. See if they can identify where they are as they are being led.
• Jesus asks us to do the works he does–and even greater ones. During these uncertain and trying times, try to find ways in which you can demonstrate Jesus’ love for others through acts of love and kindness. Just remember to think of the safety of others and yourself when coming up with ideas.