Friday. May 20, 2011

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

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

The Philippines will long 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 with a similar promise.

The passage is taken from the beginning of the second half of John’s gospel, the so-called Book of Glory. Jesus is making a farewell speech. He assures his disciples that he is not abandoning them but will be back. Thomas, like a child who cannot tolerate his parents leaving home, worries that something may happen. Jesus consoles him that all will be well because he is “the way and the truth and the life.” That is, Jesus is himself the way that leads to the Father because he is the only true image of the Father bestowing the Father’s life.

We sometimes find ourselves in bleak situations. Perhaps we face job termination, mortgage foreclosure, or an iffy diagnosis. We wonder if we will be all right. Jesus tells us, just as he assures Thomas, not to fret. He will return to assist us for he has established un in his Father’s family.