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.
Jesus is having a farewell dinner with his disciples. He does not want them to think that he will forget them. Rather, he exhorts them to trust that he will come back for him. Thomas objects that they will get lost in the meantime because they do not know the way. He assures them that they do: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is the way; that is, following him leads to God. He speaks the truth; that is, they have not been deceived about the way. And he conveys life; that is, he has provided them strength for the journey in the Eucharist.
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. As Jesus spent his last night consoling his friends rather than seeking pity for himself so we can undergo our trials similarly trusting God.