5th Sunday of Easter | Year A
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 you 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.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ ‘Have I not 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”?
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.
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.
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.’
The apostles did not really understand what Jesus was saying about himself and his Father. Jesus responded to their confusion by telling them that he is the way, the truth and the life; that no one can come to the Father except through him; that if they know him they will know the Father.
The beauty of our world can give us moments of transcendence which open our hearts and minds to the creator God. These times are a gift, and they can be life-changing. Because they are gift, we cannot expect or rely upon them to be substance of our relationship with God. The life and teaching of Jesus – Jesus himself - is our way to the Father. He presents the truth which will lead us to eternal life.
The moments when we are moved by the works of the Creator are to be valued, but they can distract us in our spiritual growth if we put too much emphasis on them. Only if we make a determined effort to enter into the life of Jesus will we make real progress in the spiritual life.
“We are Christians only if we encounter Christ... Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we really become Christians... Therefore, let us pray to the Lord to enlighten us, so that, in our world, he will grant us the encounter with his presence, and thus give us a lively faith, an open heart, and great charity for all, capable of renewing the world.”
Pope Benedict XVI