Jesus’ Farewell Discourse – Living for Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life
A Reflection on the 5th Sunday of Easter -
Today we celebrate Mother’s Day – and it is only proper and fitting to do so, because we need to
appreciate our mothers – for carrying us in their wombs and bringing us into
this world despite the pains and sacrifices involved, and raising us to become who God want us to be, not a mean task. We include all mothers, spiritual mothers, grandmothers, and those who take the place of our mothers in caring for their children. We are grateful
to you and we love you.
And let us not forget Mary, the mother of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who played an essential role in God’s plan of salvation for us. She gave her Son Jesus to us. Jesus in turn gave her to us as our Mother, and she is caring for us in more ways than we imagine. She is so caring that in many instances she appeared in many places to remind us that we must go to Jesus and do whatever he tells us. And if we have strayed from the path away from her Divine Son, that we may have a change of heart and come back to Him. One such authentic series of apparitions is that in Fatima one hundred years ago. We hope that you will join us next Saturday at the 9:00 a.mass and the special liturgy-concert to honor her for her role in the history of our salvation, which we will do through Scripture reading and song.
The Gospel reading for today is a very beautiful one and it can lead us to deeper reflection and prayer, and a more ardent love for Jesus. Chapter 14:1-12 is just a part of the farewell discourse of our Lord written in Chapter 13 to 17 of the Gospel of John. It starts from the beginning of the Last Supper until He left for the Garden of Gethsemane and onto the Cross where He would offer His life for each and every one of us.
From our experience and knowledge, we are aware that when a person is going away for good, as in a dying person, that person leaving makes manifest through words and body language what is most important in his or her mind and heart. Those words are to be taken seriously because they reveal exactly who the person is, what his thoughts are, what his wishes are for the persons and loved ones he is leaving behind. Our Lord Jesus is no exception. In fact, He is more than that.
In our Gospel reading He assures His disciples, whom he is leaving after 3 years of intimate relationship with them, walking with them, eating with them, conversing with them, that their hearts should not be troubled even if He was leaving them. During those years Jesus revealed the heart of the Father to them and to the crowd following him, through His preaching and acts of mercy.
And now He says that He is going to the Father and that He is going to prepare
a place for Him there, where there are many dwelling places, or in other
translations of Scripture, many mansions, or rooms. And even more than that,
that He is going to come back for them so that where He is, there they would
These words are also spoken to and meant for us. It is like a father who goes
abroad to look for a new and better, and permanent home for his children and promising that when he has done that, he would fetch them and bring them to that new home.
So much love there is there, right? That, my dear friends, is our Lord Jesus.
Just as our human fathers, and mothers, work to give us better lives on earth, Jesus wants to give us eternal life, and what life can be better than that. And so, as we know our parents deserve our love, isn’t Jesus deserving of our love, so much as to put Him in the center of our lives? That is a question that is worth our pondering again and again, in our daily lives.
In this Gospel, our Lord Jesus reveals Himself and His relationship with the Father, that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, so that if the disciples have seen Him, they have also seen the Father. For He and the Father are one.
And so when in the Gospel, Thomas asked Him, “How can we know the way?” Jesus replies that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. And that no one comes to the Father except through Him.
For us who call ourselves Christians, and Christians by definition are followers and lovers of Christ, we need to believe Him when He says: “I Am the Way.” I am the Way to the Father. It is He who is our path to the Father, so that when we stray away from that path, we become lost and we do not reach our destination unless we go back to that path, to that Way.
In our world which has become more and more ignorant of Christ, or has become hostile to Him, we are bombarded daily with all sorts or messages and images that aim to lead us away from the Way that is Christ. And unless we cling to Him hard and fast, we could be swayed to stray, and that is what is happening in the world right now. It is unfortunate that such straying away from Christ, the Way, is now reflected in the continuous drop in Mass attendance in the Catholic Church, and in attendance in many other faith traditions. As a result, we are now living in a fragmented, divided, hostile, and broken world, when we do not know anymore what will happen to our children and the generations to come. We need to make sure that we are on the correct path, the correct Way. And that is by clinging on to Christ, the Way.
Jesus Christ preached the truth all His life. In fact He is the Truth. If we live by the Truth, we are living Christ. Anything contrary to the Truth, anything that is false (whether it is coming from us through gossip or tearing at others’ reputations) , and all falsehoods that are constantly being peddled to us, and which we unwittingly accept, draws us away from Christ, Who is the Truth. This happens through the media, in the workplace, and even in some schools where our children are deliberately exposed, to our horror, to wor