Jesus is our WAY, our TRUTH and our LIFE.
Pope Francis and Our Lady of Fatima
5th Sunday of Easter, Year A
Few weeks ago, my friends and I went on an Easter break to Bali, Indonesia. It has been my dream from long time ago to go there and I’m glad that we were able to do it right in time for my 41st birthday. When we got to the airport to exchange our dollars with the local currency, we were literally shocked and at the same time thrilled to know that we’ve just earned 1 million rupiahs in exchange for 100 USD! Wow, we do not only have the chance to see the beautiful beach of Bali, but also get to experience what it feels like to have 1 million + in our pockets!
As we immersed ourselves with the people, however, we’ve realized that the local people struggles so hard just to get that same amount of money to get by. Some of them could not even earn the minimum wage to have a decent life. Just like here in the Philippines, the people of Indonesia are struggling, they are worried and they are anxious at life.
Worries or anxieties; people does not seem to run out of them. In fact, with what’s happening around us, we cannot but worry; we cannot but be anxious about what’s going to happen in the future. Will I be able to travel around the world before I turn 60? Will I be able to earn my first million after 5 years or so? Will there be food served at table tomorrow? Will the gas price go down? Will the world end soon as predicted by the prophets of doom? Worries, part of our humanity is to secure our future and so worry about how it’s going to be for us.
Jesus’ disciples had the same issue as narrated in the Gospel. Thomas asked Jesus as to how they can know the way and Philip asked Him to show them the Father for eternal life. Patiently, Jesus answered them by drawing them to Himself saying: “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.” How should we understand these very words coming from Jesus?
Jesus is the WAY. As the way, Jesus exemplifies the thought of last week’s Gospel about the Good Shepherd. He leads us to the right path to the Father. Our full trust connects us with Him; as “sheep” we try to recognize His voice to follow Him. We are not thieves or robbers who do not pass by the gate, but we are, in fact, one of His own. It is our well-being that He is after and protects us from any form of harm.
Most often, we settle with the ways the world would suggest: a way to easy money; a way to a luxurious lifestyle; a way to “heaven”; and at times, a way to God. But are they the “ways” that God intends His us His “sheep” to be? Jesus is our only way to the Father and in order for us to see the way, we have to be close to Jesus and spend some time recognizing His voice in order that the connection through trust will be developed. If we are confronted with a doubtful situation where we do not know what to do, remember the acronym W.W.J.D., “What will Jesus do?” But in order to know what Jesus will do, take the first step of getting to know Him through the Bible as it is once said by St. Jerome, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Pope Francis, in his homily during the centenary celebration of Our Lady of Fatima warns Christians about "godlessness." He reminded the devotees to see in the image of Our Lady of Fatima the very presence of God who lives within us in our hearts.
Jesus is the TRUTH. The basic truth is often blinded by layers and layers of unnecessary concerns. Jesus was telling His disciples to always search for the truth as to what essentially matters in life. We should always work for the truth. To seek for Jesus and surely, this will lessen our worries in life.
We’ve constantly heard about the BIG ONE in the news, as well as, the social media. From being newsworthy, it turned to become a cause for fear and anxiety. Some people would even associate it with the “Second Coming” prediction. But how could anybody claim the truth about when the Second Coming would take place? Isn’t it in Scriptures too that says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt. 24:36) But given that we hold the truth that it will happen today, what will we do? St. Dominic Savio has a very interesting answer to this question, he said: “Well, if I am playing basketball, football, or praying, or eating at that very moment, I will keep on doing what I was doing.” And why is that? Because for Dominic Savio, he is very confident and prepared for what is to come and so frees himself from such worries. He sees the truth in Christ; he has faith in Christ; and he knows that Christ is his savior.
Jesus is the LIFE. The Season of Easter reminds us that the cross is not the end though it is part of our lives. It is not the end because the tomb was found empty. Our crosses, therefore, are marks of a new perspective and new life. It is not the end but a beginning that could bring us new life. As is it said, “Always believe in happy endings.” If it is not happy, then it is not yet ending!
I read in the news from long time ago about a certain Mr. Ferrin who bought a house. As he cleans up the attic, he discovered bundles of money which when counted totaled to $45,000+. What struck me though was the fact that instead of keeping the money, he decided to give the money back to the owner of the house who happens to have died years ago. In his very Christian mind, he believes that the old man saved that money each day of his life for the future of his children and not for him.
This is what he has to say, "I'm not perfect, and I wish I could say there was never any doubt in my mind. We knew we had to give it back, but it doesn't mean I didn't think about our car in need of repairs, how we would love to adopt a child and aren't able to do that right now, or fix up our outdated house that we just bought," Ferrin said. "But the money wasn't ours to keep and I don't believe you get a chance very often to do something radically honest, to do something ridiculously awesome for someone else and that is a lesson I hope to teach to my children."
This man’s attitude highlighted a very important fact of Christian life. Jesus indeed is our life. We see God in Jesus and for as long as He is around, there is nothing to fear. But, at times, we do not see Jesus in our fellow men just like this man by returning the money which is not his to keep. For him money could sustain life, but what is life being sustained by money that’s not his? What is life without being honest and kind to people around us whom Christ came to dignify?
In times of worries, let us remember Jesus who is our way, our truth and our life. In those times, let us be filled with Christ’s assurance that all will be well. Together with such assurance we pray, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you!”