The Upper Room in Scripture has always held a very sacred place in Catholics’ hearts. We imagine this candlelit dwelling in Jerusalem as providing a home for weary travelers and an address for those who needed to find them. We step into the room with all four Gospel writers and they give us a glimpse into the humanness of the first disciples, the patience and love of Jesus and the power of the love between the Son and His Father.
As we sit among and observed the Upper Room inhabitants, we learned and continue to learn so much about Jesus and ourselves through the humanity and divinity found there. This place in Jerusalem is where we came to know the true meaning of friendship as Jesus shared his last supper, the Passover meal, with his followers. It is where the saying “It’s not about you” was fully demonstrated and authentic servant leadership was modeled as he washed the feet of his friends.
It is in the Upper Room where the New Covenant in Jesus became a reality and we saw that even those who profess the ultimate love could become a betrayer, a denier or a doubter. The question “Is it me?” continues to ring throughout the ages. The Upper Room is where we witnessed our soon to be Savior wish his friends peace and place them in the care of his Father. Here we perceive Jesus’ sadness as he leaves this place courageously to take on the sinfulness of his friends, us and humankind.
As dawn breaks on Easter morning, the messages in the Upper Room are magnified. We discovered the importance of being a good steward of community as a follower of Jesus and the power of huddling with fellow disciples. We understand what it might be like to experience grief, fear, surprise and joy at the same time and the importance of sharing our Jesus encounters with other followers.
The crucial lesson of believing without seeing was made real in this space through Jesus’ conversation with Thomas. In the Upper Room we came to know that even with all my human failings, we can be an agent for building Christ’s Church because there is no stronger force on this earth than the power of the Holy Spirit if we pray for its guidance and gifts. We want to be that missionary disciple and steward of the Church so we should return to this sacred place often for inspiration and encouragement. Alleluia! He is Risen!