Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6)
During the first years of the Church, Christians considered themselves members of “the Way.” They were not the first group to do so. Essenes, living in the desert, also identified themselves by that name. Of course, “way” here does not designate a road as friends living on Willow Way. Rather, “the Way” indicates a form of living, a “way of life.” Jesus’ disciple in today’s gospel confuses these two senses of “way.”
Jesus is trying to console his companions as he prepares to leave them. He gives them the reason for his departure - to prepare a place for them in the family home. He adds that he will return to take them to his Father’s eternal home. Finally, he says that they know “the way” to go until his return. At this point Philip, who at the beginning of the gospel was eager to follow Jesus, demurs. He claims ignorance of “the way” as if following Jesus were a matter of walking up an avenue.
We know “the way” of Jesus. It is conforming ourselves to his mode of love. Where that word has been terribly distorted these days, we strive to restore its original meaning. We seek the well-being of one another without worrying about the cost to ourselves. This is the way that Jesus has shown us.