Farewell that Brings Life and Courage

by | May 9, 2017 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus encourages his followers as he bids them farewell.  He reveals that he is the way and the truth and the life.

Jesus bids his followers farewell.  He knows it troubles them.  So, he says:  “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”

He highlights in his farewell the utmost importance of faith.  Believing in God and in the one who reveals the plans God has for us, we will remain peaceful.  Faith will guide us, so that we may say farewell to the darkness of ignorance, error and death.

This is saying basically that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life.  With this revelation, his farewell turns heartening.

First, Jesus is the way.  Without him, we will forage in a land we know not, as did the prophets and priests of old.  Or we become like forsaken sheep without a shepherd.

Secondly, Jesus is the truth that gives us certainty in the midst of unsettling uncertainties. Being God-with-us, he leads us according to the plans of fellowship God has in mind for us.  He is the unambiguous Word that will shield us from liars and fake-news makers.

And Jesus will be our guide even when he is away for a time.  So as not to leave them orphans, he promises his own another Advocate, the Spirit of truth.  He says, “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.”  And the same Spirit will lead them to all truth, even to teachings they cannot yet bear.

Because he lives, then, we will see the truth.  And we will also live.  In the third place, therefore, Jesus is the life.  He stands in our midst, live and in person through the Spirit.  In no way is he the dead letter of statutes.  Rather, he is the living model for those trying to keep strictly the commandments, without setting aside justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Yes, Jesus gives us an example of the love that is infinitely creative to the end (cf. SV.EN XI:131).  He wants us to follow his example, so that where he is we also may be.

What does it matter, then, if we are deacons, presbyters or bishops?  What is crucial is that we bid selfishness farewell.

True believers serve according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  They are ready even to give their lives for others.  It is enough for them to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  Like their Teacher, they become slaves, leaving behind their ranks, positions of honor and gain, holy orders.

Lord Jesus, grant us faith in God and in you; you are the way, the truth and the life.

14 May 2017
5th Sunday of Easter (A)
Acts 6, 1-7; 1 Pt 2, 4-9; Jn 14, 1-12

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