The role of the “domestic church”

Sunday, May 7, 2023

READINGS: ACTS 6:1-7; PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; 1 PT 2:4-9; JN 14:1-12

The readings on this fifth Sunday of Easter present us with themes of dwelling places and home. As Catholics, we are aware that this world is not our permanent home. We are merely pilgrims here, on a journey making our way through life to our true home, heaven.

Yet, as we make our way to heaven, we are called to make our dwelling here — whether we are in a household of one or bursting at the seams — a true “domestic church.” In other words, our life as Catholic Christians begins long before we set foot on the parish grounds. Our faith begins at home with our words and actions. It begins with our families — our domestic churches.

The domestic church or family plays a key role in our sanctification because it is the primary place where we practice intimate and selfless love of other persons.

In our Gospel passage from Saint John, Jesus speaks of heaven as a home filled with dwelling places. “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” This is a beautiful image of the glory that awaits us and the personal love our Lord has for us in preparing the perfect “spot” for each one of us who remains faithful to Him.

Let us respond to this great love by taking good and responsible care of our earthly dwellings, making our homes true “domestic churches” where we honor God with our prayer, with our thoughtfulness toward each other, and with our generous hospitality shown toward all.