There are many houses in the world, millions, may be billions. Who can say how many homes are there? Many or most people are in the houses; how many are at home?
In the first reading today it seems the apostles Paul and Barnabas were in a marathon race to ‘establish homes’ in different towns and cities. There were many persecutions for them and their followers and in and through and in spite of these the Kingdom was being established and they were at home in it.
In the book of Revelation we see the new city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, which is made the home of God among humans, to be with them and to wipe away every tear from their eyes! Death is banished, pain, mourning and crying are no more. They are at home!
In the gospel Jesus is announcing his departure from the disciples. However, they are not orphaned; they are given a new gift, new keep sake, new birth mark, the commandment of love, his only commandment.
“If you love, the world will come to know that you are my disciples”
Love is the trade mark! In this commandment and with it they will be home wherein they are invited to abide.
In a later long discourse Jesus will assure them of his dwelling in them, they dwelling in him and him in the Father and the Father in him and therefore all in the Father! He is sending the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, and the Consoler to supervise and permeate this dwelling.
Whenever believers come together that gathering must be permeated with this love, this ‘dwelling-in’ and that is heaven on earth. Heaven on earth is doable if only we wish it, will it and dare it. If we can truly give and receive love, share it among all, then we are becoming instruments in the hand of God and with God to create heaven on earth. It is a task, take it up. It is a challenge, dare it. It is a goal, shoot for it!