Friday, April 22 ~ Fourth Week in the Season of Easter
Holy Gospel: John 14:1-6 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.”
Meditation: The Lord Jesus came to fulfill God’s promise to bring his people, not simply to a land flowing with milk and honey, but to a restored paradise and new creation where we can dwell with God in perfect peace and unity. That is why Jesus proclaims, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Jesus does not simply give advice and direction. He personally is the Way, and we cannot miss it. Through his life-giving word and Spirit, Jesus leads and guides us personally every day. The Lord Jesus also is the Truth. Many can say “I have taught you the truth.” But folks, only Jesus can say “I am the Truth.” Moral truth cannot be conveyed by words alone; it must be conveyed also by example. Jesus embodies the truth in his person. Jesus also is the Life. He not only shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11); he gives the kind of life which only God can give – abundant life which never fails nor ends. Is there any fear or trouble that keeps you from the perfect peace and happiness of a life surrendered to Jesus Christ as an authentic disciple?
Prayer: O God, author of our freedom and of our salvation, listen to the voice of our pleading and grant that those you have redeemed by the shedding of your Son’s Blood may have life through you and, under your protection, rejoice for ever unharmed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: As much as we try to avoid it, inevitably we encounter trouble and difficulties that are hard to endure. Life is not a bowl of cherries, nor is it a bed of roses – cherries have pits, and roses have thorns. Jesus knew his disciples would have to face trials and persecution after he left them to return to his Father in heaven. Adversity can make us lose hope and become discouraged, or it can press us closer to God and to his promises. “It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Just as God went ahead of the Israelites in the wilderness to lead them safely to the promised land, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going ahead to prepare a place for them in God’s house – a place of refuge, peace, and security, and everlasting happiness. The greatest fear in this present life – whether it be the separation and loss of life to a loved one or the threat to one’s own life – is put to rest by Jesus’ promise that we will live forever with him and the Father in their heavenly home.
Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;
prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;
information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.