⌚Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

????Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19 (R.v.22); 1Pet 2:4-9; John 14:1-12

As the end of his earthly life continued to draw nearer, Jesus continued his teachings to his disciples which were geared towards consolidating their faith and strengthening their will to remain with God. In the second major division of the Gospel of St. John, which is also referred to as the Book of Glory, he teaches his apostles the reality of life without him physically with them, thus preparing them for the time they will not see him. In the first division, the evangelist presented Jesus as going about teaching and calling into faith in God through many signs that he performed, which is why the first division of the book is called the Book of Signs. But in this second division, his divinity is strongly being emphasized alongside humility and selflessness.

Remember that he, though being divine in nature, he did not claim equality with God, but emptied himself, taking the nature of a servant, made in human likeness (Phil 2:6-7). In John 13, at the washing of their feet, he taught them practically what the emptying of the self implies. Now, when they understand that he is God and still brought himself low to their state, it will help them to relate thus with others so as to form a community of love and peace, which was the desire of the apostles in the First Reading.

Meanwhile, he had also informed them in John 13:33 that he was going to leave them. By now, they would have been feeling relaxed and secured in his presence and so, the thought of losing him should really cause some worry for them. Therefore, Jesus reassures them, at the beginning of todays gospel, Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1).

Note that belief in Jesus as the Son of God is the central Christological theme that the Gospel of St. John focused on. This belief is what guarantees eternal life (cf. John 20:31). Jesus called Martha into this faith in John 11 and she professed it (cf. John 11:27). If only we can join Martha in that profession of faith, then, we would be following Jesus who is the Way, in whom subsists the truth and from whom life comes to us. He is not just a guide to salvation; he is the source of salvation. That was why he continued to say, I AM (Recall the name of the omnipresent God cf. Exod 3:6; Mark 12:26-27).

By the way, Jesus invites all of us to journey with him on that way that guarantees life so that where he is, we shall also be. Remember, when God is with his people, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, and no more mourning or crying or pain, for those old things have all passed away (Rev 21:4). As St Peter observed in the Second Reading, God has called us out from those old things and made us a chosen race which has been called into his wonderful light (1Pet 2:9). The important question is this, Are we ready to follow him? The decision is ours to make; God will not force us.

As you make your decision to follow him, may he allow you to also share in his glory. Amen.

Peace be with you.

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