June 24, 2017, 3:07 am
Facebook iconTwitter iconYouTube iconGoogle+ icon

Going together to the Father’s house

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.”

***

Jesus is going back to the Father. At the crucifixion, he would say “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46). Before that, as he makes a farewell discourse to his apostles in this Sunday’s Gospel, he assures them that they have a room in the Father’s house. He is going to prepare a place for them, and for us. Then he shall come to take us with him so that where he is, we also may be (Jn 14:1-4).

As the Gospel progresses, Jesus becomes more specific as to his whereabouts: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” (Jn 14:10). In this latter part of the discourse, Jesus tells us more concretely where he is taking his apostles and us: he is drawing us to communion with the Father and with himself. The continuation of this Sunday’s Gospel also mentions that the Holy Spirit enters into communion with people (Jn 14:17) along with the Father and the Son. Thus, the communion to which Jesus is calling his apostles and us is a communion with the Trinity.

Thomas asks Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (Jn 14:6). Jesus’ answer was direct to the point and without any trace of hesitation: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to Father except through me (Jn 14:7).

Jesus’ reply means that his teachings, his deeds, and his life as a whole are the guideposts through which we can chart our journey to communion with him, and through him and the Holy Spirit, with the Father. Now, we can discern from Jesus’ teachings and actions that he was trying to form a community–first, among the apostles and disciples, then the early Christians, and then the succeeding Christian communities up to our time. This brings us to the insight that Jesus calls us not as individuals but as a community.

In other words, we cannot forge a communion with the Trinity through our individual selves. Our journey to the Father’s house is through a loving and caring community. This is discernible in the other readings for today.

The First Reading describes how the early Christians under the leadership of the Twelve Apostles handled the complaint of the Greek-speaking Christians whose widows did not get a fair share of the daily distribution. Seven deacons were appointed to see to it that every member of the Christian community is cared for (Acts 6:1-7), an act that manifested their desire to deepen their communion with one another.

The Second Reading delves upon the origin and the mission of the community called by Christ. Such a community is formed by a common adherence to Jesus Christ like living stones forming a holy temple (1Pt 2:4). Once formed, “this community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made his own (is) to proclaim his wonders” (1Pt 2:9).

Thus, if we are to truly follow Jesus on his way to the Father, we need to journey with a community that cares, shares, serves, and forgives–a community that loves one another as Jesus had loved us. This kind of community would attract all mankind to undertake the same journey towards communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

***

– Fr. Virgilio Aderiano A. Ojoy, OP
– (May 14, 2017)
Category: 
Rating: 
No votes yet

Column of the Day

The hidden danger in Marawi

By JOSE BAYANI BAYLON | June 23,2017
‘What was supposed to be a simple police action has turned out to be the most serious military operation to date in the Duterte administration.’

Opinion of the Day

Metabolism: Why dieting fails

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | June 23, 2017
‘My doctor said that both hands lifting a gallon-size pail up to shoulder height daily can help my body’s fat-burning ability.’