Monday, May 25, 2020


Like the apostles Thomas and Philip, we often don't understand. That’s why Thomas’ question is always such a relief. He puts it right out there, “Master, we don’t know where you going. How can we know the way?” The other disciples were all probably thinking the same thing, but did not dare to ask. Said another way: “Why does following you have to be so puzzling?” Or “Why can’t things be clearer?” “I don’t understand the way you do things.” “Why can’t things simply remain the same?”  And further removed as we are, having never encountered Jesus in the flesh, perhaps our faith needs to be even deeper than theirs. That’s why Thomas’ candor is so refreshing. And when we hear the Lord say: “It is better for you that I go.” If only Thomas were there that day too to say, “Please remind why this is better, because I’m just not getting it. I don’t understand. I just want you to stay.”

That’s what Jesus wants too, simply to have those he loves remain with him, abide in him. And so he assures us, "I am the way and the truth and the life." In other words, “I am the way that leads through darkness and confusion, obscurity and doubt; through seeming absence to a richer, darker, mysterious presence.” He draws us higher to the place that he is preparing for us, the place of our belovedness. Jesus clearly understands himself as the Beloved of his Father. (How else could he have made it through the horror of his passion?) And he envisions the same identity for us, and he says that where he is, there will we be - hidden in the bosom of the Father. “I will come back again and take you to myself,” he says, “so that where I am you also may be.” For all our lack of understanding, certainly these words of Jesus are tremendously consoling. “I will take you to myself.” Where else would any of us want to be?

Photograph by Charles O'Connor.