Fifth Sunday of Easter
Evil distorts and deceives. Through his Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection, Christ restores the truth in which God created the human race. In his truth is our freedom.
Lectio Divina: Gospel Reflections
In Catholicism, Lectio Divina (from the Latin for Holy Reading) is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s word. For the practitioner, it follows a common rhythm of quiet reading (often aloud to oneself), of thoughtful meditation and contemplation on what one has read, and then, if so moved, of a prayerful dialogue with God in response to what one has encountered in scripture. This reflective, meditative active listening, if you will, allows the Holy Spirit to deepen one’s awareness of God’s presence and invites His initiative to speak with us.
LISTEN: You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn 8:32)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”The Gospel of the Lord.
In the midst of his so-called High-Priestly discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus says to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” There is a whole series of “I am” statements in the fourth Gospel, each one saying something about Jesus’ distinctive identity: “I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Resurrection and the Life,” etc. Each of these, obviously, reflects the majestic utterance in the third chapter of Exodus by which the God of Israel identifies himself: “I am who I am.”
[St. Thomas] Aquinas parses the “I am” remark to Thomas the Apostle as follows. In saying that he is the way, Jesus is signaling his full humanity. For the human nature of the Lord is indeed the means by which a disciple is led to union with God. Christ’s humanity is, as Saint Paul puts it, “the icon of the invisible God.” But by insisting, at the same time, that he is the truth and the life, Jesus indicates his full divinity. Many other religious teachers and founders could have characterized themselves as “ways” to enlightenment or mystical union. But none of them could have coherently maintained that he, in person, is himself the object of enlightenment or the goal of mystical union.
Jesus is in person the divine Truth that our minds long for; he is, in person, the divine Life in which our hearts long to share. In a word, precisely because the Lord is both God and man, both path and goal, he is the one in whom we find salvation.
First published at Magnificat, May 2020, “A Light Unto My Path,” Fifth Sunday of Easter, by Bishop Robert Barron
PRAY: On this Fifth Sunday of Easter let us pray to be led along the way, in all truth, for the eternal reward, life in Jesus, “the icon of the invisible God.”:
Lord, let us remain in you always. Let us never separate ourselves from you. For in you we find the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Let our hearts not be troubled; and help us to make room in our hearts for you each day.
For additional reflection on today’s Gospel reading, consider I Am The Way, The Truth, The Life, by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio at Crossroads Initiative; https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/i-am-the-way-the-truth-and-the-life/
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.