At the end of the last supper, the disciples begin to sense that Jesus is not going to be with them much longer. They have all been left bewildered and crushed by Judas’ sudden exit, by the announcement that Peter will deny Jesus very soon, and by his words that speak of his next departure. What will become of them?
Jesus fully grasps their sadness and their anxiety. His heart is touched. Forgetting himself and what awaits him, Jesus tries to encourage them: “Let not your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” Later on, in the course of their conversation, Jesus makes this confession to them: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” They should never forget it.
“I am the way.” The problem of not a few people is not that they go through life astray and misguided. Simply, they live without a path, lost in some sort of labyrinth—moving forward and backward on thousands of roads with signs pointing to directions and the fads of the moment.
And what can men and women do when they find themselves without a path? To whom can they turn? To whom can they go? If they approach Jesus, what they will find is not a religion, but rather a way. At times they will move ahead with faith; at other times they will run into difficulties; they may even regress, but they are on the right path that leads to the Father. This is Jesus’ promise.
“I am the truth.” These words contain an invitation that is shocking to modern ears. Not everything can be reduced to reason. Scientific theory does not have the whole truth. The ultimate mystery of reality does not let itself be trapped by sophisticated analyses. Human beings have to live face to face with this ultimate mystery of reality.
Jesus offers himself as the way that leads and brings us near this ultimate Mystery. God does not impose himself on us. He does not force anybody with either proofs or evidence. The ultimate Mystery is silence and respectful attraction. Jesus is the way that can open us up to his Goodness.
“I am the life.” Jesus can bring about change in our lives. Not as a distant teacher who has left humanity a legacy of admirable wisdom, but rather as someone alive who sows in the very depth of our being a seed of new life.
This action of Jesus within us takes place discretely and quietly. The believer only gets an intuition of an unperceivable presence. At times, however, we are taken over by certainty, an uncontainable joy, complete trust that God exists, that he loves us, that everything is possible, even eternal life. We will never understand Christian faith if we do not welcome Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.
José Antonio Pagola
May 18, 2014
5 Easter (A)
John 14, 1-12