When Paul is speaking to a pagan audience in today’s first reading, he tells them that the living God did not leave them without evidence of himself in the good things he did for them, such as abundant rain, the growth of crops, sufficient food. It can be helpful for us to recognize the presence of the living God in the good things in our own lives.
Even amidst struggle and loss, good things can be found, and all such good things are little reminders of the presence of the living God. The most precious thing in our lives that God our Father has given us is God’s own Son, Jesus. In the gospel reading, Jesus makes the extraordinary statement that if we love him, he and his heavenly Father will come to us and make their home with us.
It is quite something to reflect on how Jesus and God the Father want to make their home with each one of us. This is a time when many people cannot get to church, which we think of as God’s house, God’s home. Yet, Jesus is reminding us that each one of us can become a church, in the sense that God and his Son can make their home in us. We can each become the house of God, the home of God. It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus and God the Father make their home in us.
At the end of the gospel reading, Jesus says that God the Father will send us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to remind us of all Jesus said to us. In one of his letters, Paul refers to the baptized as temples of the Holy Spirit. It is good to ask ourselves in these days, “Do I think of myself as a home for God and Jesus, as a temple of the Holy Spirit?” “When I do think of myself in this way, what impact does it have on me?” Elsewhere in John’s gospel, Jesus suggests that this awareness can bring us peace the world cannot give. Amen.
Fr. John Peter