Again, Jesus calms his disciples and tells them not to be afraid once he departs from them. He promises that he will come to them in a new way. How is it that Jesus will reveal himself to his followers (including us), come to us, love us, when we can no longer see him in the usual way? He says, “Those who love me will keep my word, and the Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
He comes to us when we open the door of our hearts through encountering the Word, meeting him in prayer, and allowing our lives to be changed. When we live this way, Jesus is “at home” with us. But we have to open the door. As you will see in Holman Hunt’s famous painting, the latch is on the inside of the door as Jesus waits outside. Be sure to click the link below to St. Paul's Cathedral to learn more about this fascinating painting.
We could extend this image a bit further to apply it to our present reality. How are we present to each other in Christ, as Christ’s Body, when we can no longer see each other? By encountering the Word together, opening our hearts in prayer together, and allowing ourselves to be changed together. Then, we are “at home” together with God in Christ, even while we are apart.
The Holy Gospel John 14:18-31
"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them." Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way."
The Light of the World
William Holman-Hunt (1900-1904)
Oil on Canvas