Homily for May 14, 2017: Fifth Sunday of Easter

Gospel John 14:1-12

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."

Ebanjelioa Joan 14:1-12

1 «Ez izan kezkarik: sinetsi Jainkoarengan eta sinetsi niregan ere. 2 Nire Aitarenean toki asko dago; horrela izan ez balitz, esango nizuekeen. Orain, zuentzat tokia prestatzera noa. Joan eta tokia prestatu ondoren, berriro etorri eta neurekin eramango zaituztet, ni nagoen lekuan zuek ere egon zaitezten. Zuek badakizue ni noan tokirako bidea». 5 Tomasek esan zion: –Jauna, ez dakigu nora zoazen; nola jakin bidea? 6 Jesusek erantzun: –Neu naiz bidea, egia eta bizia. Ezin da inor Aitarengana joan nire bidez izan ezik. Ni benetan ezagutuko baninduzue, Aita ere ezagutuko zenukete. Are gehiago, ezagutzen duzue dagoeneko, eta ikusi ere ikusi duzue. Orduan, Felipek esan zion:

–Jauna, erakuts iezaguzu Aita, eta aski dugu. 9 Jesusek erantzun: –Honenbeste denbora zuekin, Felipe, eta ez nauzu ezagutzen? Ni ikusten nauenak Aita ere ikusten du. Nola diozu: «Erakuts iezaguzu Aita?» 10 Ez al duzu sinesten ni Aitarekin bat eginda nagoela eta Aita nirekin? Nik irakatsi dizuedana ez dizuet neure kabuz irakatsi. Niregan bizi den Aita da bere salbamen-egintza burutzen ari dena. 11 Sinets iezadazue: ni Aitarekin bat eginda nago eta Aita nirekin. Besterik ez bada, sinetsi egiten ditudan egintzengatik. 12 Bene-benetan diotsuet: Niregan sinesten duenak nik egiten ditudan egintzak eginen ditu berak ere, eta are handiagoak, ni Aitarengana bainoa.

The Way

At the end of the Last Supper, the disciples begin to sense that Jesus is not going to be with them for much longer. The hasty departure of Judas, the announcement that Peter will soon deny Him, the words of Jesus speaking of his imminent departure, have left everyone baffled and dejected. What will become of them? Jesus senses in them sadness and embarrassment. His heart is touched with compassion toward them. Forgetting about himself and about what awaits Him, Jesus begins to encourage them, “Let not your hearts be troubled; Believe in God and believe also in me.” Later in the course of conversation, Jesus makes the following confession: “I am the Way, the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.” They must never forget this truth.

“I am the Way.” The problem many people face today is not just that they find themselves lost or misguided. It is simply that they live without a Way, lost in a sort of labyrinth: walking and retracing the thousand paths, which – as presented through slogans and fashions – appear to tell them how and where to go. And what can a man or woman do when they find themself lost and with no way? To whom to turn? Where can they go? If they approach Jesus, what they will discover is not a religion, but a Way. Sometimes one may walk in faith; other times one may find difficulties or even walk backward – but it is certain that the individual is on the right path, one that leads to the Father. This is the promise of Jesus.

“I am the truth.” These words contain an outrageous provocation to modern ears. Not everything can be reduced to reason. Scientific theory does not contain the whole truth. The ultimate mystery of reality is not to be discerned by the most sophisticated reasoning. Human beings are always confronted with the mystery of the ultimate reality, which demands clear answers. Before this phenomenal challenge, Jesus comes to us as a Way, which directs us to that ultimate mystery. God does not impose himself upon us. God does not force Himself upon anyone through scientific proofs or evidence. The mystery of the ultimate reality is humble, silent and respectful attraction. Jesus is the Way which can open us to experience that goodness of God.

“I am the life.” Jesus can transform our lives. Not like a distant teacher who has left a legacy of admirable wisdom for humanity, but as someone who is alive and as someone who, from the very depths of our being, instills a seed of new life. This action of Jesus within us always takes place in a discreet and quiet manner. Even the follower of Jesus feels an imperceptible insight. Sometimes, however, that feeling becomes a certainty, in the manner of an irrepressible joy and total trust: God exists, God loves us, and everything is possible, even eternal life. We will never be able to understand Christian faith if we do not welcome Jesus as the Way, the truth and the life.

 

Fr. Antonio's Blog

Reflections from Padre Antonio Egiguren, Vicar at the Cathedral of St. John's the Evangelist.


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