Feast of the Church Triumphant

John 14: 1-6
Wis 3 1-9 / Ps 23 / Rom 8:31-35

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6)

Lord Jesus, You have shown the way
To Life no other can ensure;
In the hope of Your dwelling place
Is where my spirit dwells secure.

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith 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 am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:1-6)

Reflection

Today we commemorate the feast of the Church Triumphant, our departed souls whom our Lord Jesus promised would be able to avail of their ‘dwelling places’ in His Father’s kingdom. This is the hope of every Christian who believes that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, and has provided us the Way to Eternal Life.

For many of us, who are now enjoying the material comforts of this world, or are still actively pursuing our goals and ambitions in life, death is a great unknown that we would rather not dwell upon, but set aside to contemplate at the “proper time” when we are at the sunset of our lives. Or perhaps just once a year (this day) — for a few moments — as we pay our respects to departed relatives by visiting their graves. But isn’t death a reality that true followers of Christ shouldn’t fear? For even though we walk in the shadow of death, we take courage with the faith that God is at our side, and when death comes, we have the hope of dwelling in His house forever (Psa. 23:4,6). So what is there to be afraid of? Plenty, if one does not walk with the Lord.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn.14:6) Between the holy, perfect, eternal God and the fallen, mortal, corruptible mankind, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity took human form to bridge this great chasm, and provide the way to mankind’s salvation. He is the only way, because apart from Him we can do nothing (Jn.15:5). His way may be hard and constricted (Mt.7:14), but the road to heaven was not meant to be wide and easy. It is reserved only for those who avidly seek the truth, and the Truth is the Word of God. Jesus said, “If you remain in My Word, you will truly be My disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn.8:32) Free from sin,”for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Thus, even as we reflect on death, we can say, “my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure, for You will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let Your faithful servant see the pit. You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever” (Psa.16:9-11).

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your great love for us, unworthy as we are. Thank You, beloved Savior, for the hope of eternal dwellings with our loved ones in the Father’s kingdom, which You have prepared for a joyous reunion with all Your saints. Amen.

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