I love today's Gospel passage! John 14: 1-6 relates the wonderful revelation by Jesus that "In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places" (or rooms, as some translations say). I think that most of us seek some place in which we are able to get away from others and be happy. Perhaps you were able to decorate your own bedroom as a child. This was your space, and you felt happy there. Having lived among us from birth, Jesus also understood this. He wanted us to know that the Kingdom would be one in which we would be perfectly happy. And so He used this image to help us understand that God has our ultimate happiness in mind.
Now, I am not naive enough to think that there is a giant mansion awaiting us. But the words of the Lord bring me great comfort. I love living with others, but also want some of that "personal space" that seems to be so important to everyone. When I return to the Lord, I naturally want to reconnect with loved ones who have died, but the human part of me cannot imagine an eternity of constantly being around everyone else. This is, of course, my limitation, based on my limited human experience. But Jesus wants us to be assured that even our human desire for some "alone time" will be somehow fulfilled in the Kingdom. A great mansion with many rooms - how beautiful! The ability to be with others in community but still be a unique individual is part of God's ultimate plan for us. And knowing that God understands make me even more thankful for the presence of Jesus in my life. As He says, "I am going to prepare a place for you" and the more He and I speak now, the better the experience will be. So, until we run into one another in the Great Mansion of Heaven, I hope you too will speak with Jesus often so He can help you be ready for your special room in the Father's house.