Sunday, May 14, 2017

Good News

This morning's Gospel is taken from the fourteenth chapter of Saint John, the setting is the Last Supper.  Jesus tells his disciples that he will be betrayed and go to his father's house to prepare a dwelling place for them.  Then he tells them that they know the way to where he is going.  Thomas objects, “Master, we do not know where your are going; how can we know the way?” The answer that Jesus gives is considered by eminent Catholic biblical  scholars as as the highpoint of Johannine theology. “Jesus said to Thomas, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  For us who are the followers of Jesus Christ, this is indeed good news, but for the devotees of other faiths these words can seem arrogant and disrespectful of their religious experience. 

But Jesus is for us “the way, the truth and the life." When you love someone who loves you, you cannot help sharing this news with the people whom you encounter, especially when that love uplifts you and transforms your life. Thus the bottom line, according to Pope Saint John Paul is that, even as we respect other faiths, we as Church “offer mankind the Gospel, that prophetic message which responds to the needs and aspirations of the human heart and always remains Good News. The Church cannot fail to proclaim that Jesus came to reveal the face of  God and to merit salvation for all humanity by his cross and resurrection.”

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  We can think of this Good News as pointing to our going to our Father in heaven at the end of our lives. The words of Jesus today about going to prepare a dwelling place for us in his Father's house reinforce that notion of the other-worldliness of this statement.  Yet once the first disciples of Jesus hear about him from John the Baptist, they go to Jesus who asks them “What are you looking for?” They answer, “Rabbi, where do you dwell?” Jesus replies, “Come and see.” To be real disciples of Jesus we must dwell with him and live in him for he is our lifenot just the truth of our message. 

Photograph by Brother Brian. Excerpts from Father Luke's Sunday Homily.