Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Heart is His Home

Reflections on the Readings

Sixth Sunday of Easter - May 9, 2010, Year C

By Dennis Hankins

Reading for this Sunday

Our Heart is His Home

"If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." - Jesus

A familiar Easter hymn, 'He Lives,' has this resounding refrain: You ask me how I know He lives. He Lives! Within my heart.

Looking toward the cross, Jesus speaks of his glorification to take place by way of his Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Liturgically, we are moving toward the Ascension. Within the context of today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of Himself, his Father, and the Holy Spirit, personally present in those who obey his teaching.

His glorification is a restoration to the Father; his equality with God prior to humbling himself in human form. He refers to his Father as greater than himself not because they are not one, or that Jesus is not truly God. He is God in the flesh, God incarnated.

In contrast, the Father is greater in that he sent, that is he gave, his only son. Yet, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself. This is the mystery of our redemption.

In his high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus prays to be glorified in his Father's presence saying, "Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made."

It is Jesus' return to the Father that completes and exalts his resurrection victory. From this exalted position he promises that he and his Father will come and make their home with us.

This they do so that we may be seated with them in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:1-7)

This they do so that we may receive all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who calls us to his own glory and excellence. All of this is ours so that we may escape the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and participate in and partake of the divine nature. (1 Peter 1:3-4)

This they do so that we may truly say our fellowship is with the Father and his dear Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

Do we have a personal relationship with Jesus? You bet we do. Through our baptism Christ is in us, the hope of glory. Through Christ we are embraced by the Father and the Spirit for we are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. (Colossians 1:27)

Do we pray often that in our lives the family of the Thrice Holy God may be glorified?

Will we personally turn toward these Holy Faces of grace and be illumined from within?

Filled with the Presence of the very origin of life and love, do we follow where that Presence wants to takes us?

Do we sense holy promptings to say with grace what we would prefer to say with anger?

Do we have holy nudges to write that letter, call that brother, or make that donation?

Do desires for the deep things of God go unheeded, opportunities to be silent ignored?

The challenge we face daily is whether we will let our heart reveal the Holy Fellowship we say we have. The hope of the world is in the obedient heart, the heart that is home to the living God.

Let us pray: Dear Father, help me to seek those things that are above, where Christ is; so that my heart may be where He is, by the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. Make my heart your home. Amen.

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