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April 24th, 2005 A.D. - Fifth Sunday of Easter Jn 14/1-12
Catholic Homilies
April 24th, 2005 A.D.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter Jn 14/1-12

Background:

  We continue this Sunday in our exploration of  St. John’s account of the Last Supper discourse of Jesus to his apostles, a discourse which the author has compiled both from the words Jesus must have said many years before the Gospel was written down and mystical/theological reflections on the words of Jesus. The tone of the discourse is bittersweet. On the one hand Jesus is saying farewell to his followers who will miss him and whom he will miss and on the other hand he is promising them that he will always be with them through the Holy Spirit and the Father’s love. Besides he will prepare a place for them where they will once again be happy and together.

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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

  Another Irish immigrant story: A young father decided that the only way he could support his wife and their three children was to leave for America. He would get a good job there, save his money, send most of it back to his family, and save the rest so that eventually he could buy them a house and bring them to the Land with the Golden Door. His wife, his children and his parents begged him not to leave. We’ll perish without you, they said. You’ll perish with me here, he said. I must go to America to earn a decent living. Well, they had an American wake for him, a sad party for a man they never hoped to see again. He survived the journey across the Atlantic, though many of his fellow passengers died. He survived a long trip to Chicago and his first days in the Stock Yards. It was a terrible bloody, smelly place to work, but he could earn more money in a couple of days there than he would in a whole year working his miserable farm. He sent home a letter every month with money that would keep his whole family alive. He stayed away from the pubs and ate very little in the crowded boarding house in which he lived. He went to night school to study accounting and eventually found a job which paid even more money than the slaughter house. Only a few letters came from home, because his children were too young to write, his parents didn’t know how, and his heartbroken wife would break down in tears when she tried to scribble a letter. After five years and several promotions, he had saved enough money to pay their first class passage to the United States and to buy a cozy house in which his family would live. While he waited for them to come – hoping that they would – he decorated and furnished the house. Back home the wife’s mother was urging her not to go to America. People died on the trip, she said. You’ll be taking my grandchildren away. He’s a real yank now and he won’t want country folk like you living in his house. The wife was torn between two loves, but she finally decided after much delay to risk everything on the trip to America and to the husband she still loved, though she couldn’t really remember what he looked like. The trip over was easy in first class as was the train ride to Chicago. At first none of them recognized the prosperous gentleman in the business suit that welcomed them when they got off the train. They were astonished by the house – running water, gas lamps, inside heating. Isn’t worth waiting for? The husband asked. You were worth waiting for, his wife replied.

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They were astonished by the house – running water, gas lamps, inside heating. Isn’t worth waiting for? The husband asked. You were worth waiting for, his wife replied
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