The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Today’s Gospel (John 14:1-6):
'Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.’'
It is interesting that Jesus tells his disciples to not let their hearts be troubled and to trust in God still. There is a suggestion here that the disciples’ faith may be waning somewhat, that they may be struggling with what they are witnessing in Jesus. And who could blame them? Here is a man, living in their midst, who is the saviour of the world! Here is God made man eating and drinking among them, performing miracles day after day! Their simple human minds must have struggled to take it all in; to appreciate who Jesus really was. Perhaps the disciples were also struggling with other people around them who did not share their faith and who would mock them for believing in this Jesus character; this Galilean who supposedly worked miracles and claimed to be the Son of God.
So Jesus, knowing the disciples minds, encourages them to continue to trust in God and also to trust in him. He wants them to keep the faith despite troubling thoughts and doubts. He wants them to keep the faith despite the abuse they may receive from those who don’t share the same conviction of faith.
And isn’t this so true of our world today? Don’t we as Catholic people struggle to maintain our strong faith in an increasingly secular world? Whether it be in the workplace, in the home, or even on Facebook or Twitter, don’t we find ourselves in a struggle to keep the faith where that faith is deemed to be yesterday’s news and worthy only to be consigned to the dustbin of history? Is it not a struggle to defend our faith because of our basic belief in the right to life from conception to natural death? Is it not a struggle to defend our faith because we see marriage as between one man and one woman? Is it not a struggle to defend our faith when we see the sinfulness of some Catholic clergy who abused young children in their care?
Yet Jesus comes to us here and now and urges us to trust in God and to trust in him, just as he did with the disciples around two thousand years ago. He tells us that he has prepared a place for us in his Father’s house. We have a home in Heaven! There is actually a place for each one of us in the Kingdom of God!
But how do we get there? That is the very relevant question asked by St Thomas, and Jesus gives him an earth shattering reply when he says ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’
It is only through Jesus that we can get to God and the place he has prepared for us.