Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6)
In the Gospel according to John, Jesus describes himself with many illustrative metaphors. He says, “’I am the light of the world’”; “’I am the bread of life; “’I am the good shepherd,’” and so forth. These images shake our way of thinking to help us realize that Jesus is more than human. He touches every dimension of our existence. He is the light that illumines our minds, the bread that increases our strength, and the shepherd who changes our destiny. In today’s gospel Jesus proclaims, “’I am the way, the truth, and the life.’” How is he “the way”? What does he mean by calling himself “the truth” and “the life”?
Jesus is “the way” to God, his Father. In the Gospel of Matthew he says the way to salvation is narrow and traversed by few. And so it is difficult to follow Jesus’ path of selfless love. But he is “the way” as well because he provides all the help that is needed in the sacraments. He corrects our errant tendencies in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He fortifies our drooping spirits in the Eucharist.
Jesus is “the way” because he is “the truth” and “the life.” He is “the truth” in two senses. First, he reveals the Father’s love for the world and how the Father expects the world to respond. Second, as God, Jesus is the foundation of all truth. When scientists find a remedy for the Corona-19 virus, we will say, “thank God,” because God is the source of all truth.
When Jesus calls himself “the life,” he means something more than biological life. He has “life in abundance” or “eternal life” in mind. This is life full of joy, peace, and love. It is the life of a saint like John XXIII. The good pope, whom many today still remember, would not allow the worries of his office take away his smile. We strive to live this life now and look forward to it in the resurrection of the dead.