‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’
Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A
As Jesus prepares to leave his disciples, he offers them words of reassurance, words which emphasise that in him truth and life are to be found. Fr Adrian Graffy reflects.
1 Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am now going to prepare a place for you, 3 and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.’
5 Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
8 Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ 9 ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the Father, so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work. 11 You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason. 12 I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself; he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.’
Other readings: Acts 6:1-7 Psalm 32 (33) 1 Peter 2:4-9
The account of the last evening of Jesus with his disciples in the Gospel of John includes several speeches, punctuated from time to time by interventions of the disciples. It is most appropriate that these passages are read during the second half of the Easter season as we approach the feast of the Ascension and the return of Jesus to the Father. Jesus’ first words in today’s passage are words of reassurance which contrast strongly with his earlier prediction of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial.
Thomas asks about the way to the place where Jesus is going. ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,’ says Jesus. The words of Jesus in John’s gospel constantly underline that in him truth and life are to be found. Philip, on the other hand, is impatient to see the Father. Jesus’ reply echoes the constant teaching of this gospel that ‘the only Son has made God known’ (John 1:18). Both the answer to our searching and the satisfaction of our longing are found in Christ. To know Jesus is to know the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father.
Do I recognise Jesus as the Way or do I reduce him to a talented prophet and healer?
How often do I give in to despondency and anxiety?
Pray for a deeper faith in the person of Jesus, our Lord and our God.
Pray for confidence in the continuing presence of Jesus in his Church.