Beholding the troubled faces of His eleven faithful Apostles during His last Passover supper Jesus our Lord assured them saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe in me also. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself so that where I am, there you also may be (Jn.14:1-3).” But alas, Thomas exclaimed “Lord, we do not know where you are going”. What our Lord was telling them was totally beyond their farthest imagination. Our Lord would make them see the truth of His words. But they would have to wait and share the trauma of His bodily death and burial until He would rejoin them most unexpectedly after His bodily resurrection from the dead in the Holy Spirit. And then, after a period of ‘forty days’ they would see Him depart from their very midst to go to His eternal Father’s house: ‘...as they were watching he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them and said: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking upward to heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go to heaven (Acts 1:9-11).”’ That was when they understood quite plainly the words spoken to them by our Lord about the dwelling places He was going to prepare in His eternal Father’s house for every one of His faithful disciples on earth until the end of time. And the coming of the Holy Spirit on them on Pentecost day not only confirmed the truth of our Lord’s words but also perfected their understanding of it.
On the first of November of every year the Church not only celebrates the blessed life of all the victorious disciples of our Lord with Him in His eternal Father’s heavenly house but it also joyfully proclaims and thankfully celebrates the eschatological success of our Lord’s high priestly work in every one of them through the mission of His Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth in their spiritual souls from the day of their baptism in His Name until their departure from their earthly bodies in perfect charity for His eternal Father. To say that the Catholic Church is the community of the baptized ‘in Christ’ simply means that it is the community of all those in whom the Son our Lord Jesus Christ is seriously pursuing His high priestly work to prepare them for the moment of their departure from their earthly bodies to join Him in the dwelling places He has prepared for every one of them in heaven. If we make His everyday priestly work in our spiritual souls successful until the end we too shall join our Lord with the Saints in his heavenly Father’s house. If we make His everyday priestly work in our spiritual souls a failure through our worldly mindedness and secular interests we shall certainly be condemned to join the Devil and its angels in eternal hell fire. If this be true of all the baptized, what will it be for us if we ordained priests of our Lord are content with merely ‘proclaiming the word’ and ‘administering sacraments’ and making a living instead of painstakingly and seriously working with the believing baptized for whom we celebrate our Lord’s holy sacrifice of the Cross and serve His sanctifying sacraments to make our Lord’s high priestly work in their spiritual souls an eschatological success? “Awake sleeper. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light (Rom.13:11-12a).”