Homily for the fifth Easter Sunday

Year A  -  John 14:1-12


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"Jesus said to his disciples:  «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:


"Jesus said to his disciples:  «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.»"

The season of Easter continues and, Sunday after Sunday, we approach the blessed day when we will commemorate the Ascension of the Lord into Heaven.  This is why the Church proposes to us, beginning today, a gospel in which the Lord speaks to us of Heaven, the house in which he lives forever with his Father, "who is in Heaven."

Heaven!  That is what is important in our life!  This is what Jesus came to tell us on behalf of his Father!  This is what the Lord of all things came to reveal to us by becoming one of us, taking flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary!  No other message comes from the mouth of Jesus than:  Heaven!  For he said:  "You know the way where I am going," specifying afterwards:  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life."

"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.»"

Yes!  Jesus is the way that leads to Heaven!  And he is the only way that leads to the Fatherís house:  there is no other, for "there is only one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tm. 2:5)  Jesus, the only Son of the Father, is the God-Man who reveals the Father to us and allows us to know him.  Since there is only one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, he who knows the Son also knows the Father:  the Son is indeed, as Saint Paul said, "the image of the invisible God." (Col. 1:15)  If we remain united to Christ through faith, hope and charity, then there is no doubt that we would be in communion not only with Jesus, but also with his Father, our Father!

"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 Father of Jesus, God, the Creator of all things, is He who is all Love:  Love is his essence.  And, this being the case, he perfectly loves that which he is:  the Father loves himself for himself with a perfect love.  From this reflection on love springs the one who is perfectly like him:  his beloved Son, the one on whom rests all his love, as he said at the time of the baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan.  "And a voice spoke from heaven, «This is my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on him.»" (Mt. 3:17)  Thus, what the Father is in his essence - infinite and perfect love - was made present to men since the time of the Incarnation of the Son of God, and therefore, he who has seen the Son, has seen the Love of God:  he has seen the Father!

"«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.»"

Jesus did not come to do his own will, but the will of his Father who is in Heaven.  Being one God with his Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the Son of God, always does the will of his Father in the Love of the Holy Spirit who unites them.  This is why Jesus said to his disciples:  "The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority."  Jesus himself is none other than the Word of God, his own Word, the unique Word of the Father.  Therefore, when Jesus speaks, it is the Father himself who speaks through his own Son:  Jesus, at once Man and God, speaks the "words of God."

But when Jesus speaks in the name of his Father, he then truly acts; because, for the Father, to speak is to act:  for the Father, to speak his unique Word, which is his Son, is to beget his Son for all eternity in the Love of the Holy Spirit!  So, when the Father speaks, he accomplishes his unique work:  the generation of his eternal Word!  Jesus can therefore say to his disciples:  "The Father who dwells in me does his works."

"«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.»"

Now that Jesus is with his Father (ever since the day of his Ascension into Heaven), it is the Church, in the name of Jesus, who accomplishes the works of God in virtue of her faith in Christ, according to what Jesus said:  "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (John 6:29)  But the Church accomplishes works greater than those accomplished by Christ himself:  the Church participates in her own conception, in her own birth into the world, through the evangelization and conversion of the men and women of the entire universe!  This is something that Jesus himself, as Man, could not achieve, since, when the Church was born, on the day of Pentecost, Christ was already in Heaven, with his Father.

Let us ask Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church, to help us through her prayer, in the course of this Sunday celebration.  May we all, through Mary, receive from God the grace of eternal salvation and of the glory of Heaven with the Father, the inheritance promised to all those who persevere until the end!