May 01, 2015
Friday, 4th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 13:26–33
Gospel: Jn 14:1–6
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not be troubled; trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. Otherwise I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
A story is told of a couple who were looking for a house to rent. They had only one child and so they needed only a small house. As they walked through a three-bedroom apartment while scouting for one unit to rent, the child exclaimed: “I like this house, Mom, because there are many rooms in here and you and Dad won’t have to share.”
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house”, Jesus said in today’s Gospel reading. This is a manifestation of God’s desire to take us all to paradise. This manifestation is affirmed by Jesus’ statement that it is his Father’s Will that none of those he had given to him will be lost (Jn 6:39). After death God will usher all of us to everlasting life. He won’t condemn us because we have been marked and sealed by the Blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11). The question is not whether God will let us into paradise or not. The question is whether we would be willing to partake of that eternal life or we would prefer embracing for all eternity the life of darkness we have been used to on earth.
Our own life will judge us. We have all been taught that the God we cannot see wants to be loved in the neighbor we see. No one enters heaven to be with a God he hasn’t learned to love here on earth. Today’s first reading is a story of how Jesus was systematically rejected by humanity (Acts 13:26–33). Must we continue to reject him by refusing to love him in our neighbors? If we do, we should be ashamed to ask for inclusion in his heavenly company at the end of time.
Even if one should have the guts to ask from God the favor of admission to heaven despite having rejected him on earth, heaven would still be hell for him because he will be with people he hasn’t learned to love on earth. Surely he won’t be happy in the company of those he had inflicted sufferings on earth. If he had persecuted anyone on earth, the company of those he had persecuted will be heavier a burden than the cross he had inflicted on those people. He himself will reject heaven’s accommodation. He has no other destination but hell. No wonder, there will always be vacant rooms in heaven, for many end up preferring hell over heaven. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Teach us, O Lord, to follow you closely by loving one another. Like a sunflower that follows every movement of the sun, may we always turn toward you and follow you as heaven-bound disciples. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Joseph, Patron of Workers and of the Universal Church. By following his example, Jesus became aware of the dignity of daily labor and the dangers of idleness which, as the bible says, teaches all sorts of mischief (Sirach 33:28). Addressing the Catholic Association of Italian Workers on May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII proclaimed May 1 as the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. May 1, which is also Labor Day throughout the world as instituted in 1889, reminds all of the necessity and of the dignity of manual labor of which St. Paul said, those who do not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Every person must work to support himself and his family, and to cooperate in the creation of God. To become the source of blessing and holiness, our work should be offered to God.