10 May 2020 Fifth Sunday of Easter


“A Story is Told About An Architect”

“An architect, who had worked for a large company for many years was called in one day by the board of directors and given plans for a fine house to be built in the best quarter of the town.

The Chairman of the board instructed the architect to spare no expense, using the finest materials and best builders. As the house began to go up, the architect began to think and said to himself, ‘why spend expensive labor?’ ‘Why use such costly materials?’

So the architect began to use poor materials and hired poor quality workmen, and he put the difference in the cost into his own pocket.

When the house was finished, it looked very fine on the outside, but it certainly would not last long.

Shortly after it was finished, the board of directors held another meeting to which the architect was called.

The Chairman of the board made a speech, thanking the architect for his long service to the company, and as a reward the chairman declared that the house in which the architect recently built is actually a gift for him.

Could you imagine the embarrassment of the architect? Had he just known that the house he builds was for him, he could have had made the best out of it.”

My brothers and sisters, in our Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter, we hear Jesus speaks about mansions in heaven. He said, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”

It has been said that our life here on earth is actually building a mansion for ourselves.

All our good deeds will not be wasted. All our good deeds here on earth are considered to be concrete materials that we deposit to heaven in order to build that mansion for us.

It is the desire of God that all of us will have a special mansion there in heaven. And how do we participate in this desire of God for us? We need to be a part of it. How? Our present situation these days can be an instrument to take part in the desire of God for us.

Our worries and anxieties during this pandemic can be meaningful if we look at it as our personal and spiritual purification — our way of participating in the sufferings of the Lord. Let our worries and anxieties be our offering and deposit it to heaven as materials for our mansion there. One theologian said, “Let our scars become stars”.

Our Gospel today at the same time is giving us the assurance and hope when Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” He further said, “…I am going to prepare a place for you… I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”

My dear friends, this is the way of God. This is the desire of God for all of us.

But for many of us, it takes a while—maybe, a whole lifetime for some—before this lesson sinks in that the only way is God’s way. And so it is that we go on our way, chasing our worldly dreams, relying on our human wisdom, tapping on our worldly resources, only to find out in the end that life without God is empty, that a journey without God is lonely, and success without God is all vain glory.

In our troubled world, where we hear of over-crowding in some of our cities and overpopulation in some countries, it is pacifying to hear that God has prepared a mansion – an eternal dwelling place in the Kingdom of Heaven – for each one of us.

There will be a room for everybody in the world to come. This is where God wants and wishes every one of us to go. If this is the desire of God for each one of us, then let our prayer should be: “Lord, never permit me to be separated from you.”

I would like to end this reflection with the prayer, “Anima Christi”

“Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever.”