Living in Houses?

Q. Jesus said I will not drink of the vine until I drink it again in my Father's house, and he also said in my house there are many mansions. So, are we to believe that we will drink and eat in heaven and live in houses?


A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:

In the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples, “I shall not drink … until the kingdom of God comes” (Lk 22:18). The suffix “—dom” at the end of a word means a condition or state of being. “Kingdom of God” is a way of life in which God is our ruler. The early Church writer Ephrem said these words meant Jesus would not drink with his disciples until the way of living as God’s people was fully revealed — after the Resurrection.

Christian theologians agree that the mansions Jesus mentions (see Jn 14:2) are spiritual, rather than physical, dwellings. St. Clement and St. Irenaeus believed them to be the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament Temple, God’s dwelling-place on earth. They believed the multitude of mansions represented degrees of holiness. St. Thomas Aquinas taught the mansions represented the measure of a soul’s love of God, a belief St. John of the Cross later reflected in his writing.

The editors of “A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture” present another way of looking at these dwellings. They suggest the mansions have been prepared because Jesus prepared his followers; the mansions are many because Jesus’ followers are many.