Homilette for Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

(Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6)

The Philippines will remember Douglas MacArthur for the words he spoke at his forced departure from the country at the beginning of World War II. He promised the people, “I shall return,” and he did. No doubt, some Filipinos joined the resistance to the Japanese invaders on the strength of MacArthur’s promise. In the gospel today Jesus means to instill such confidence in his disciples with a similar promise.

The passage is taken from the beginning of the second part of John’s gospel, the so-called Book of Glory. Jesus is making a farewell speech to his disciples among whom we should see ourselves. He does not want us to think that he is leaving us behind. Rather, he wants us to trust in him. “Why?” we may ask with the same uncertainty as Thomas displays in the passage. He answers, because “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is the way that leads to God. He speaks the truth which shows us the way. And he conveys life in the Eucharist which provides us strength on the journey.

We sometimes find ourselves in bleak situations. Perhaps we face job termination, mortgage foreclosure, or an iffy diagnosis. We must not cower but be confident. Jesus sublimely demonstrates this trust on the cross. In John’s account of the crucifixion, Jesus is not perturbed in the least. He has completed the mission of his Father by his submission to death. Now he returns to Him in glory. We can and should face our trials by similarly trusting God.