May 7, 2023: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Gospel: John 14:1-12
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. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”
In this selection from John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us he is going to prepare a place for us with him for all eternity. And what is the way to this eternal reward. Jesus has shown us that the way is one of loving. Loving unconditionally and indiscriminately. Loving all. Not an easy task or an easy road to travel. But as we continue to develop into loving human beings who express that love in service to others, we experience the love of God.
Christ himself is revealed in the loving relationships we have with one another. In them, we experience the love of God. Christ reveals himself in the loving. We are human and don’t always get along with others but loving relationships with others can bring the greatest possible joy into our lives. That is what Jesus wants from us. To love everyone and by doing so we demonstrate how we love God.
This might be a good time for some self-examination. Are we doing everything possible to show the love of God to everyone? Only each of us can answer that question and decide how we are going to improve what we are doing or transform ourselves into more loving human beings and bring the love of God to all those we meet. Even a pleasant smile or a friendly word to a stranger can have a result beyond anything we could imagine.
Love is the center of everything good.