Indwelling God


Scripture     John 14:1-12

Reading

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again and will take you to myself,

So that where I am, there you may be also.

And you know the way to the place where I am going.


Reflection

 

This brief segment of the farewell discourse gives us some glimmer of insight into the compassion of Jesus’ heart. There is such an irresistible attractiveness and consoling reassurance in these final words. One holds like a treasure - a gift of the ‘sacred’ - these his personal words of good-bye.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus has just told his beloved Twelve that he is leaving them and his death is imminent. Further to this is the shocking revelation to them that one of them – yes, one of his own band, is about to betray him, and yet, He can say “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

When these kinds of troubles and misfortunes are thrust upon us, we do grow anxious. The human heart does pain, grieve, and suffer through, such losses and afflictions. Persons on the journey through this earthly life are beset with obstacles, misunderstandings, difficulties and disappointments. Yet we hear again Jesus’ command: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” When these things befall you, remember my words.

  

In living out our Christian commitment, Jesus knew that we would all come face- to- face with some harsh reality at some point along the journey. It is integral to the human experience. Jesus clearly told them that they would suffer the hostility of the world toward them. Yes, even persecution was going to be inevitable.  Yes, “they will hate you because of me.”  But you are to make a conscious choice in your mind, not to let your heart be troubled; do not allow anxiety or fear, to agitate or disquiet you. Jesus’ exhortation is for ‘troubled hearts’ to be ‘care-free hearts. The way he points to is to choose belief in Him rather than anxiety in oneself. The way of trust in God and abandonment to this larger security is far more transformative than lingering in human worry, hurt and anguish of soul.

Your faith in Me is the remedy for your fear, for your troubled heart.  Remain firm in Me, believe in Me, and trust Me.  And your loving Me, remaining steadfast in Me will cast out your human fears. Let nothing frighten you, disturb you, for I am with you. I am within you and I will help you and guide you through this trial.

  

Henceforth, he is saying, no affliction, no loss, no suffering will be able to penetrate or overcome your human heart…if I am set like a seal upon your heart. You will have peace within; a peace that the world cannot give, nor can it take it away. You will have Me, the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

  

Now comes the marvelous revelation of the intimacy, the indwelling, the mutuality of relationship that will from now on be one’s source of life and strength and true peace. This is not just a heavenly dwelling with the Father; this is a divine in-dwelling, an earthly divine indwelling. “Where I am, you may be also.” and where He is -  is not some place, it is rather a state of being – a being in the Father, a being in intimate union with God. “As Jesus is in the Father, I am now in the Father.”  Our exceeding great joy is proclaimed that yes, in truth - this union has already begun – it is realized escathon. And still there is a ‘not-yet’, a future escathon.

  

Jesus says “I will prepare a place for you.” He is preparing a place for his indwelling and that place of preparation is within our own hearts. Jesus is readying us for this indwelling in Him.  I am your abode, your dwelling place, your home. And “it’s a place for you”. There is a participation in God that is unique, personal, intimate, ours alone … it is ‘just for you’. Oh, the incomprehensible heights and depths of the mystery of God’s love.

  

Every human heart is a home – a Trinitarian home. Already our escathon has begun…within the hearts of each one of us. Our lives are now a prelude to the eternity when ….this being loved by God and loving in God …will burst forth into spontaneous, maximum mutual enjoyment…and even then there will be eternal growth, eternal discovery in the God who is LOVE.

  

Pray this wonderful prayer – commit it to memory – and repeat it often, like a mantra. One day you become what you pray:

JESUS,
flood my Soul with Thy spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being
so utterly
that all my life may be
but a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me
and be so in me
that every soul I come in contact with
may feel Thy presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see -
no longer me -
but only Jesus.
 
   - Cardinal Newman.
 

Carrying Grace          My heart rests in peace.

                                                                                                             

 

Comments  

#2 arletteh 2011-05-23 14:35
Out of the stillness needed when facing death comes a great love that no longer is concerned about self. It thinks of those that have been so precious a part of one’s life, and of those who must carry on. Deathbed communications thus often are so healing, so forgiving, so deeply touching, so revealing of a love that in so many ways was never expressed. They are words treasured for life and passed on to the next generation. That place of healing, of peace, of love of great potential creativity is something of what I think Jesus means by that “place prepared for you.” And when there is suffering, going to that place will show us “how to suffer well” (eleanor), for there is where Jesus says he is. There is nothing better that Jesus wants: “that where I am, you may be also.”
#1 eleanorw 2011-05-23 03:25
Shining lights of the earth, rest your weary body and soul in the arms of the one who loves you. The one who will give you the grace to suffer well and who will give all of his love to you till the end of time.Make a place in your heart today for him.

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