Gospel Reflection for 5th Sunday of Easter Year A – May 14th 2017
We wonder about the afterlife. Jesus says little about it, except that he goes to prepare a place, and in this place are many rooms. Nothing of our arguments about the afterlife can come up with what he promises today. He says himself that it is faith that makes sense of what he says.
Faith is what is energising us when nothing else can do so. It’s a leap into light, or a leap through darkness. It is linked with love; in fact faith is called sometimes ‘a dark love’. It’s what is there when nothing else makes sense.
This can sound heavy. At times our path of faith is heavy, as we are tempted off the path. But it is faith in a person and in the gospel of the person, the message of Jesus that is good news. The good news is that a place like home is ready for all of us when we die. Our faith can also at other times bring a lightness into life and renewed energy of being loved and cared for by God.
Our funerals often now focus very much on celebrating a person’s life on earth; we like this and it does us good. It brings humanity to our Christian belief. But a funeral is also to celebrate where our loved ones are now. They are with God. In some writings, death is called a ‘second birthday’. We are born into new life.
Jesus can say this from the depths of his risen life. Raised from death to new life, he offers us this new life.
Risen Lord, take care of us always
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger