5th Sunday of Easter – Gospel Reflection

The Way, the Truth and the Life

If I am conscious in my last hours on earth, my wish is that somebody will be at my bedside reading today’s Gospel, John 14:1-12.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me.”

After the Last Supper, Jesus is explaining to his disciples that he is going away from them.  They are taken aback.  But he explains that ultimately it will be for their good.  His death will be the door to his resurrection.  In this way he is going to prepare a place for us, with him in heaven.   Thomas always has a question.  “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

The reply of Jesus gives us plenty to ponder.   “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Philip seeks a clarification about seeing the Father.  “Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.”

Jesus replies: “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.”  Jesus is the Word made flesh.  God has spoken to us in a human life, a body of flesh and blood, a language we understand.The best way of knowing what God is like is to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ, on his teaching and his example.  There we learn the way, the truth and the life.

He is the way in the beautiful moral code that he has left us.  All is summed up in the double commandment of love:  to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love our neighbour as ourself.  This means reverence and respect.  Reverence for God in thought, word and action.  Respect for other people in justice, neighbourliness and caring.

Jesus is the truth for he gives us such a dignified meaning to life.  We are children of God, brothers and sisters with all of creation.

Jesus is the life.  He offers us a sharing in heavenly life.  In his resurrection he has gone before us to prepare a place for us and he will come again to take us to himself.  If we follow his moral way and walk in the light of his truth, then we are on the road to sharing in God’s life, united once more with our loved ones who have gone before us.

Without the way there is no travelling.  Without the truth there is no knowing:  Without the life there is no living.

As Saint Peter says in today’s second reading, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness into his wonderful life.”

Christians, know your dignity.

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