THE ROAD HOME
It is now six weeks that we have come into the celebration and depth of meaning of Easter. It is a definite blessing for us that we are able to approach the several mysteries that Jesus is revealing to us gradually. Even in the light of this step-by-step learning, it is not easy.
In the first reading for this Sixth Sunday of Easter, we already hear of some diversity of opinion, even doctrine, among the early followers of Jesus. For the most part, we very likely don't need to know a whole lot about what, and how difficult, these controversies were. We do know they were resolved, through patience and understanding and wisdom, as well as an abundance of help from the Holy Spirit.
It very likely is due heavily to our being human and always in some way imperfect, that there will always be efforts to limit God and to place limits on how we are to belong to God. We will have to continually sift through these in much the same manner our early predecessors did, through prayer and patience, wisdom and love. Did you take note in the reading from Revelations, as John describes the descending of the new Jerusalem, there was no Temple, no place of worship? God's glory is everywhere. God's being penetrates everything.
In today's Gospel, Jesus speaks so warmly of His oneness with the Father. It might seem Jesus asserts this union almost casually. He knows the Father. He wants His followers to know the Father. Here we find the two essential conditions for belonging: believing in the Father and in Jesus; and in our loving unconditionally. Neither of these is easy; yet we have Jesus' own modeling. "As I love you, so are you to love one another." We are further gifted with the Holy Spirit.
As Jesus takes leave of His disciple, He gently assures them of His constant presence. This closeness, this presence, is ours.