Homily for the fifth Sunday of Easter
Year A - Jn. 14:1-12


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

" 'Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.'


"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.'


"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.


" 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.' "





Homily:


"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me."


This Sunday's gospel passage relates a discourse spoken by Jesus on the eve of his Passion, when he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. In this discourse, the one after the Last Supper, Jesus speaks of his Father; above all, he speaks to his Father: he prays to his Father! Soon, he will say: "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son..." (Jn. 17:1) Jesus speaks of his Father because he, the Son of the Father, came to earth to reveal He who begot him, the beloved Father who is everything to him, with whom he is but one God, in the Holy Spirit!


"Believe in God, believe also in me." Jesus speaks these words in order to make his disciples understand that everything has changed, that the Old Law is fulfilled, that the New Law is now established forever! In the Old Law, man was invited to believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, a reality that was eternal but invisible. Now, in the New Law, man can believe in Jesus who is both God and Man, incarnate God, God invisible and visible in the man we call Christ!


" 'In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.' Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.' "


Why is Jesus God and Man? Why did God incarnate himself in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary? This is why: the Word of God is made Man in Jesus, yet remaining God, in order that man - every man and woman - might be able to become like God, insofar as that man or woman becomes holy, free from every sin, thanks to the merits of the Passion of the Son of God, who died and was resurrected in the Holy Spirit.


In Jesus was established a Covenant between God and man, the New Covenant in the Blood of Christ. Thanks to Jesus, God the Father can be among men, and men can go to the Father. In Jesus was established a bridge between Heaven and earth: it is now possible to go from earth to Heaven! This is why, once he rose from the dead, after spending a few days with his disciples, Christ returned again to his Father on the day of his Ascension into Heaven. He who is "the first-born among many brethren" (Rm. 8:29) has shown us the example and the road to follow: he was the first to rise up into Heaven!


Certainly, today's gospel passage first makes reference to the departure of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. From the very moment of his death, the soul of Jesus entered into the Glory of the Father, in an eternity of bliss! Moreover, this is the foundation of every felicity that Jesus obtained for his own body, a little later, in resurrecting it for eternal Life, thus giving it a new dimension, that of the Father's dwelling! And it is there, in the Body of Christ, in that mystical Body to which we all hope to belong, thanks to the mercy of God, that Jesus prepares for us a dwelling, for all eternity!


" 'If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.' Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?' "


Are we true believers? Do we believe that the Father is in Jesus, and that Jesus is in the Father? Do we truly know Jesus? Do we truly know the Father? I am not asking if you know the catechism like the back of your hand... I'm asking if you have dared to pray a little to the Holy Spirit to help you to know the Jesus of whom we speak from time to time? And the Father? Have you asked the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, to help you to know the Father a little, the Father who is in Heaven?


" 'The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.' "


Art experts are able to say if a certain work of art was made by such-and-such an artist, for each worker leaves a trace of his personality in the work he produces. If you have several children at home, and if you see that one of them has done something foolish, you often have a pretty good idea of whether it was this child or the other who is responsible: you know them all intimately, and each misdeed has a signature... In short, such a person, such a work... Concerning the works of Jesus, the same is true, except that in his case, to believe in the works or to believe in Jesus are exactly the same thing!


In fact, the principal work of Jesus is to reveal the Father, to say who the Father is. Now, when Jesus speaks of his Father, what he says - the word he pronounces - is himself: the Word of the Father begotten from all eternity in the Holy Spirit! To believe in the works of Jesus is thus to believe in Jesus himself...


May the Spirit of God ceaselessly come into us! Come, Holy Spirit! Come, Spirit of Love! Come help us to know the Father, through Mary, and for Mary! Amen!




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