Gospel & Reflection – Fifth Sunday of Easter

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

MAY 14, 2017

ALLELUIA

                   I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;

                   No one comes to the Father, except through me!

ALLELUIA

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint John 14: 1-12

I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where [I] am going you know the way.”  

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”   Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 

Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?   

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.  The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.   Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

The Gospel of the Lord!

 

REFLECTION

Thomas and Philip — Are they a little dense, or what?   The Gospels sure give the impression that the apostles so often missed the meaning of what Jesus was saying. Jesus was always taking them to the next level – forcing them to see life and all its dimensions from the vantage point of God. Then again, we are not so much different from them.  Like them, we too get caught up in our own little worlds, seeing things according to our limited vision.  And like the disciples, we too hear and speak back to Jesus in such one dimensional ways – ways confined to the physical world.  Our eyes are fixed on this world, and not on heavenly things.

However, we must give the disciples credit; they were not afraid to ask the next question even if it made them seem foolish!  The disciples had learned to trust Jesus; they realized that He desired only good for them.  So they were not ashamed or afraid to ask him to teach them his way, the way of God!

When you are confused, or troubled do you go immediately to Jesus and ask the question?  Is the God to whom you pray, a God you can trust; do you believe that God desires only good for you?   If prayer is more listening than talking, then asking the question and then patiently waiting and listening seems to be the perfect way to proceed.  Don’t be afraid to question Jesus, and don’t be reluctant to listen.

This Gospel passage is often selected by family members for a Funeral Mass.  It seems so appropriate: Do not let your hearts be troubled …. I am going to prepare a place for you …. I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.   In term of faith, this is where the rubber hits the road: believing that Jesus can and will preserve us into eternal life!   All we need to do is believe this TRUTH, and follow in His WAY, for His way leads to LIFE in the fullest — says the Lord!

And yet, Jesus was not speaking to disciples in the context of a funeral.  No, Jesus was teaching disciples of every age that even now we can encounter God.  Jesus Christ is risen and has already come back to us in the Word and Sacraments.  Even now he provides a place and means to be in his presence so that where I am you also may be.  How blessed we are that the Risen Lord is with us in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist at Mass, and is with us in our prayer with the Word of Scripture.

The Gospel ends with a shocking statement from Jesus: whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these!  How could we possibly do things greater than Jesus did?  The answer is in the two fold dimension of our Baptismal union in Christ: Through Baptism the Holy Trinity abides in us, and therefore the same Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus empowers us; and secondly, as members of the Body of Christ we are in and with Jesus Christ as He intercedes for us before the Father: whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

Believe in the power that Christ has given to you through His Holy Spirit to do great works – to influence the world with goodness and holiness!  Are you not the hands and feet of Christ — members of His Body?   May we grow in the confidence that Christ works though us as the Father works through Him!

Encountering the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ

Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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