Homily for Easter 5, 1 Peter 2: 4-9; John 14: 1-12
His words today
remind me of something Selma said a few months ago.
It happened like this. Barbara and Selma went to visit one of the Syrian families now living in our parish. So the next time I saw her, I said, ‘hey Selma, that was a really lovely thing you did’. And she said, ‘well there’s a special reason why I did it. When my mum first came to this country, let’s just say…. she wasn’t always made to feel welcome. She was young, she didn’t know anyone, and when she knocked on doors looking for a room to rent, people told her to her face they did not want want to see a black person.
I know….. you can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it.
But it happened,
and it still happens.
Well anyway, Selma said that she wanted to go to see our Syrian neighbours because she wanted to be someone who said to them, ‘welcome. We’re glad you’re here. I’m glad you’re here’.
Yeah, I know,
how cool is that
It is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
‘Love Bade me Welcome’
When I read the gospel for this week,
when I read Jesus talking about home and belonging
and being wanted, it made me think of Selma and her mother.
‘In my father’s house’ says Jesus, ‘there are many rooms,
and I tell you
that there’s a place which so has your name on it,
because it’s yours, it was made for you, it was always made for you’.
Do you know what’s about to happen to Jesus when He says this? Those disciples He’s talking to are about to fail Him, run away from Him, deny they ever knew Him. And Jesus knows that’s what they’re going to do, so before they do it, He says to them, ‘do not be afraid’.
Before they screw up, He says, ‘Trust in God, Trust always in me. In my Father’s Heart, you belong’.
Before the fall, there’s this declaration of Love,
after the fall, there’s this declaration of Love,
the world is healed.
It is the Way the Truth and the Life.
It is Jesus.
St Theresa of Avila said
you can never fall out
of God’s hands,
you can only ever fall
in to God’s hands.
In our second reading, S Peter calls Jesus ‘the rejected stone’.
Jesus is the One who is thrown away like some worthless thing – even though everything
rests on Him, comes from Him, returns to Him.
In this world, the Rejected Stone has no home, yet He is always beside the one who has no home, no job, no place, no country, no one that wants them, that longs for them.
But the glorious good news is this: He is Jesus. He is our Home, He is our shelter, He is the way, He is the door, He is the welcome, He is the forgiveness, He is the food, He is our Life, and He never stops.
Those times when you felt pushed away -look back and see in them the Truth: the Rejected Christ standing right beside you.
Those times when someone smiled, when someone welcomed you, made you feel wanted, encouraged, like you were home – see in them the Truth: the presence of Christ, reaching out to you.
And those times when you reached out to someone….
There’s this nun I know who,
When she gives you a hug,
always, says ‘this is from God’.
See in those times Christ in you, reaching out through you. A Christian says I am in Christ, and Christ is in me, and He is my Home.
This life is a homeward bound journey
to the place we’ve never left: God’s heart.
The Rejected One makes it so,
and so do all of you,
It is the vision glorious,
it is Jesus,
it is the Way, the Truth and the Life.