John 14: 1-12
On the 5th and 6th Sundays of Eastertime, it is traditional to read extracts from the long discourse which St John tells us Jesus had with his apostles at the last supper. This is a very deep teaching of Jesus, so in order to take it into our own inner ‘sacred space’ we have to make a real effort.
Several words jumped out at me as I read this gospel. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me’. Jesus is offering his apostles solace, although he is facing a huge crisis. What courage! What trust! What are these words saying to you today?
‘There are many rooms in my Father’s house.’ At some very deep level, Jesus knows that the painful journey he is about to make, will lead him to a place of ‘many rooms’ where there is both freedom and space. Because of this journey, he will be able to lead his followers to that place. What comforting words they are to us today and every day, particularly to those who are ill or dying or grieving a loved one.
Then we meet Thomas, who like many of us, wants to know the destination before they set out on the journey! Jesus invites him to make an act of faith and to take one step at a time.
Then, Jesus’ wonderful words’ I am the way the truth and the life’ offer us such depths for our own daily journey.
For myself, I feel that Jesus is not giving me a set of complicated directions , but is offering me Himself as the way. I feel He is saying, ‘Trust each step into the unknown, I am beside you.’
It reminds me of one of our sabbatical students, Titus, from North Kenya.
In order to be with us, he came by plane. Not only was he never in a plane before, he never even climbed a stairs in his life! Everything is strange and new. Yet he has entered fully into everything. Even our food he takes without a murmur. Very occasionally he will say, ‘This is not African food.’ Back home where he comes from, they cook on stones surrounded by burning wood. For me, he is someone who is totally trusting Jesus The Way. As for the truth, he has no problem sharing his truth with us. He does it with laughter and a very obvious twinkle in his eye.
The next character we meet in the gospel is Philip. He wants to experience God directly. Jesus shows him that he has been experiencing God all his life. The challenge for us all is to see God in everything and to know that ‘all is sacred.’ I find it easier to see God, especially in Nature, at this time of year. It is resurrection time all around us.
Where do you see God in your daily life?
Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.”
‘The life’: What does this mean to you?
I have no doubt that Titus understands these words.
Someone listening to him the other day said, ‘Go back to your home in Kenya, Titus, and be the prophet you are.’
He smiled and said ‘I will, I will!’
As you read this Sunday’s gospel, what do you hear Jesus say to you?
Sr. Pauline McGrath OP