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051020 Fifth Sunday of Easter - Fr. Reggie

From ancient times, philosophers have summed up the human condition as a quest to answer three fundamental questions: What should I do? What can I know? What can I hope for

In response to the common-sense comment of doubting Thomas, Jesus Christ gives us the definitive answer to each one of these questions when he tells us that he is the way, the truth, and the life.

Actually, Jesus doesn't just give the answers; he is the answers.

"I am the way" can translate into: "What should you do? Follow me! Do what I have done." 

"I am the truth" means: "What can you know? You can know everything, if only you know me. "Knowing me, more and more every day, you know the secret behind the workings of the whole universe and the deepest yearnings of the human heart, because I made them both. I am the eternal Word, the very Wisdom of God."

"I am the life" means: "What can you hope for? In me, through me, you can hope for the fullness of life that you long for in the very depths of your soul. "You can hope for your very own room in my Father's house, in heaven - I have gone to prepare it for you. "In my Father's house all sorrows turn to joy, all weakness turns to strength, and life grows more alive as eternity unfolds.

Christ is truly the living water that quenches every thirst.  He is truly the light that scatters every type of darkness. The quest of every man and woman to satisfy the heart's deepest needs is the quest to seek his face.

As St Augustine famously wrote, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in God."

And Jesus Christ is God.

When you consider asking someone for directions, don’t you often size them up a little first to see whether they’d be willing or able to help? Some are unwilling, even though they’re able. They’re in a rush or having a bad day. Some are unable, even though they’re willing. The minute they break out their phone and open Google Maps you know they’re just as lost as you are. You can usually gauge from their first response how confident they are about their answers. A believer is called to show others the way to God, and to do so he must be willing, able, and confident, or else they’ll seek directions elsewhere.

It is only because Christ has given us himself, his friendship, his own life, that he can give us true peace of heart.

At the Last Supper he commanded his Apostles, "Do not let your hearts be troubled," as we just read in the Gospels.

Today, he is saying the same thing to us.

And he can say it - for him it is not empty advice or wishful thinking. Jesus has suffered for us. Jesus has died for us. Jesus has paid the price of our sins. Jesus has gone to prepare us a place in his Father's house, a place that no one can take away or destroy. If we stay close to him, what do we have to fear, what can trouble us? St Paul wrote: "With God on our side, who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son... we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give..." (Romans 8:31-33).

It is hard for us to accept this wonderful truth.

But true it is. The whole universe is ours, because Christ is ours. In the midst of troubles, temptations, sicknesses, failures, and even our sins, Christ is always by our side, loving, guiding, and upholding us.

As we accept this truth, we begin to experience true peace of heart, the kind that doesn't depend on moods and circumstances, the kind that gives us the strength and joy of the martyrs, who sang hymns as they were burnt at the stake.

Today Jesus will renew his commitment to us in this Mass.

When he does, let's ask him to increase our faith in his goodness, so that we can follow him more closely and learn to obey his command: "Do not let your hearts be troubled."

 

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