5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER - A
Parting ways with a significant other or a beloved has always been painful. We hate goodbyes most especially when the separation with a loved one is permanent. When Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving them, their hearts were wrenched. Like ordinary people, they were filled with sadness and distress in the impending departure of their Master. When their hearts were almost broken with grief, Jesus gave them hope: “Let your hearts not be troubled; believe in God and believe also in me.” He assured them a place in the Father’s house and promised to take them one day to where he would be. To the question of Thomas about the uncertainty of the future, He proclaimed “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Life is a journey and there are many roads leading to different destinations. Religion has always led humanity towards its final destination which is life after death. Sometimes people think that all religions are one and the same and religious founders like Buddha, Zoroaster, Mohammad, Jesus, Confucius, etc are all the same. Whilst most of the world’s religions are based on the tenets and teachings taught by the founders, Christianity is based on the person of Jesus Christ. Because these founders are all human beings, they can only teach their disciples a good way of life to follow. Jesus is the only one who could say “I am the Way” because he did not only teach us a way of life but he also leads us to walk through and with him in the journey that will eventually end to him. Life’s journey becomes a pilgrimage when the road is sanctified because of the presence of Jesus.
The founders of great religions also taught their philosophies which are truly remarkable and worth following. Christianity is more than just a philosophy, it is about the truth based on the person of Jesus Christ. In front of Pilate, Jesus proclaimed that he was born to testify to the truth. Pilate never understood what truth was, so he asked “What is truth?” Jesus is the truth because he came from the father and wanted to bring everyone into the home of his father.
An authentic religion has to bring its followers into the realm of life that goes beyond death otherwise why would one follow a religion that does not know where to place its followers after death. Among the religious founders Jesus was the only one who rose from the dead otherwise our faith is useless as St. Paul proclaimed (1 Cor 15:14). Is it not a simple logic that we follow somebody who after rising from the dead will also raise us up after we die? Not only that, he also makes sure that there is a place for all his followers in his father’s house. Jesus is the life because he is the only one who can assure us of a life that will last beyond our earthly existence.
Jesus came into the world with the mission to bring humanity into a filial relationship with his Father and to gather one day all God’s scattered children back into the home of his Father. We don’t have to be convinced about this because this is the truth that we believe in and there is no other way than Jesus who can give us eternal life.
This gift that was given to us comes with a responsibility which is our participation in the mission of Jesus to bring all peoples into the Trinitarian life: with God as our Father, with Jesus as our Redeemer and with the Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier.