WelCom May 2023
Fifth Sunday of Easter – John 14:1-12
¹ Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. ² 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? ³ 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. ⁴ You know the way to the place where I am going.’
⁵ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going; so how can we know the way?’
⁶ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. ⁷ If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From this moment on you do know him and have seen him.’
⁸ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and then we shall be satisfied.’
Jesus said to him, ⁹ ‘Have I been with you all this time Philip and you still do not know me? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, “Show us the Father”?
¹⁰ 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 of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works.
¹¹ You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least, believe it on the evidence of these works.
¹² 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 the Way, the Truth and the Life
Dr Mary Nash
“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.” – Jn 14:1
In East Anglia – in the East of England – there is a very old Church in the grounds of Hengrave Hall, where I went to school. It is dedicated to St John the Baptist and St John the Apostle. My school was a convent school and we worshipped there every day. My mother was Catholic and my father was Church of England and their mixed marriage was a source of distress to my father’s side of the family. Every night, we children said our prayers and I prayed Dad would one day become a Catholic. I found the possibility that he might not was very disturbing lest he be consigned into everlasting fire. Therefore, the words inscribed at the entrance to this little church, which had survived the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, were very comforting to me. They still are, though, with my adult mind they open the doors to far more faith groups than I could have imagined. I still find it very comforting and beautiful to consider these encouraging words: ‘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.’ Jn 14:1
And yet how were the followers of Jesus to get to the Father’s house? Thomas wanted to know where Jesus was going and said they had no road map and did not know the way. But Jesus turns serenely to him and tells him that yes, they do know the Way, for He himself is the Way and not only that but also the Truth and the Life. Over the centuries, many Christians have argued about this, claiming that it means only the favoured few followers of Christ can find the Way. Others have been prepared to take a more loving approach to the finding of the Way.
Just as the Apostles looked to Jesus as the Way, so we may follow his example, as also seen in the examples set by the saints, especially those who live amongst us now. Often, I suspect, today’s saints are people who can be very annoying as they break rules in order to shower loving-kindness on the lonely and the helpless who we also know, but perhaps avoid. Washing their feet, going to their celebrations and healing their wounds are all steps on the Way to our Father’s house, where our hearts will not be troubled and we know there is room for all of us.
Dr Mary Nash – a Catholic, a grandmother and a PhD in social work – joined the parish of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in 1978, when she came to live in New Zealand from North Wales. She has been a member of the Manawatu Catholic Worker group for the last eight years.