In a film I watched years ago and whose title escapes me a young boy about 4 or 5 asked his mother “what is death?” Children have a way of asking questions we dults can often skirt around because they have not yet learned or been told that there are some questions we do not ask. By the way, if you told a child ther are some questions we do not ask their only response would be “Why not?” So back to the mother on the spot to say something about death. To give her self some thinking time she made a cup tea then said: “You know when Dad and I go visiting friends we grown-ups talk and talk. You often fall asleep at our friends’ home. When we leave our friends we take you home with us and when you wake up in the morning you are at home and in your own bed. I think death is something like that, waking up in your own bed at home.”
I have made use of this story many times as I have preached at requiem masses and funeral ceremonies. It harmonises well with many of the words Jesus uses which can shed some light on life and death. Jesus speaks in words drawn from our experience of ordinary life events such as home life. There are many rooms in my Father’s house has us thinking of a room with our name on it. In the gospel today he spotlights home when he tells us to make our home in him as he makes his home in us. He has acted first in making a home for himself in us. Somehow he is in us as his home and not just some kind of star boarder. If we ask him where he lives, his reply would simply be “In you.”
To grasp the reality of this home making by him, we have our part to play in home-making. We are to make our home in him. He wants us to draw life from him in the way a branch draws life from the vine. Our homes are where we receive life, draw life and share life. With our family we are with those who by nature look out for us, care for us when we are sick, advise us when we seek direction, love us for no other reason than they are part of us. With them we are at home. This is what Jesus asks us to do with him. Come to know him so well, spend so much time with him at mass and in prayer that we can say He is my home.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Jun 5, 2015||5th Sunday of Easter 03.05.2015||Listen||Download|