Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Way to the Father

The gospel reading for this Sunday takes us to the most intimate gathering described in the gospels, namely the Last Supper. As received by John, it is the moment when Jesus, knowing all that is about to take place, commands the disciples to take up a new way of understanding him and the love that he is to share with them. It is a command that calls us to make a commitment to this love, by forgoing our own ambitions and motivations, and instead to be willing and ready to live our lives by adhering to the truth of Jesus' claim that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  If we are willing to make this commitment, it will change us and shape us in his image. It will inform every choice and decision we make, and it will become the pathway of our discipleship.

Trusting - Sieger Koder
We are in the midst of what many people are saying may well become a life changing event. The corona virus and the impact it is having on the everyday circumstances of our lives, is causing us to re-assess and re-evaluate many of the things that we have previously taken for granted. It has made us think about our relationships with one another, and with the environment, but perhaps most of all it has made us all think about the fragility of our lives. Sadly, as the number of deaths steadily increase, the closeness and nearness of the possibility of losing a loved one becomes more 'real' and such thoughts bring to the fore the reality of our relationship with God. 

As Jesus answers the question which Thomas puts, his words shed a deep and searching light on our own thoughts. Thomas' words: "We do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" can be words which we also utter in circumstances of bewilderment and ignorance. When such questions arise, what does our faith ask of us? Jesus wants to reassure his friends that they should not be afraid, and that to overcome this fear, he calls upon us all to put our trust in God and in him. "I am going to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, you may be too" is his response. Fundamentally, Jesus is telling us that we will be with him, and he with us throughout our lives and beyond, by recognising how by living out his truth in our lives, we will find our way, through him, to the Father, our ultimate destination. This calls for trust. Trust in the most trying of circumstances. Trust in the most difficult of situations. When we are close to death and when someone we love is close to death, Jesus asks us to put our trust in him.

At times like these, when such questions rise up in our thoughts, the words of Jesus in today's gospel provide us with deep solace. The mystery of our lives unfold in different ways for each of us, but the mystery into which our lives will pass, is one which in the fulness of time, we will all share together. So, how can we know the way? Listen to the words of Jesus, who having been with us in life and in death, has shown us that through his resurrection, the way to the Father is through the way, the truth and the life which he lived and now lives for all eternity.


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