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May 1993

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3)

These words come from Jesus' farewell discourse to his apostles after the last supper. He tells them that soon he must leave them and understandably this news troubles them greatly. Jesus tries to explain that they will only be apart for a short time and that above all else it is for their good that he is going away. He is going to prepare a place for them and will then return to them and stay with them always.

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

The departure that Jesus refers to here will occur in his now imminent passion and death. This will be the great proof of his love for his Father's will, which he must go through in order to return to the Father and so enter into the fullness of glory and communion with him. By going through this trial Jesus will open the way for his disciples too, and he will bring them to be together with him, in this fullness of communion.

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you maybe also.

Jesus' return might make us think first of all of his meeting the apostles at the moment of their death, or when he comes in his glory at the end of time. But in reality Jesus' coming again has already happened with his resurrection. Having fulfilled the work of redemption and being in the glory of the Father, Jesus can now stay always among his own. In fact, from the very moment of his resurrection Jesus will live in the midst of his disciples so as to bring them more and more into the new world where he is now.

Of course, this marvellous fact will reach its complete fulfilment when we meet Jesus face to face at the moment of our death and even more so when he comes again at the end of time. But it is something of which we can have a foretaste right from this very moment.

And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am you maybe also.

How shall we live this month's Word of Life? By trying to become aware of how rich and exceptionally beautiful it is.

It draws our attention to the deepest aspect of the mystery of the Church which is that the Church is characterised by the presence of Jesus and cannot be thought of without this presence, and that the Church is a community of disciples, of Jesus' true friends, those who having understood who Jesus is, want to have him always in their midst so as to be with him always.

This word wants to make us enter into an ever deeper relationship with Jesus and through him with our heavenly Father.

Of course, all of this has a price: and that is to fulfil the conditions asked for by Jesus. This means putting his words into practice (John 15: 10), and particularly the word he defined as being his commandment and his testament: mutual love (John 15:12) and unity with our brothers and sisters (John 17:2 1).

To the extent that we make an effort to live his words, Jesus will increasingly give us his light, his feelings and his life. We will become true friends of his (John 15:14). From now on he will bring us into that atmosphere of love, purity, heroism, joy and true peace in which he lives and, despite the ever present difficulties, he will make this earthly life of ours an anticipation of heaven.

Chiara Lubich

 

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