Fr. John Puodziunas, OFM
Assumption BVM Province
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to the disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God, have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not would I had have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again, and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be where I am going, you know the way." Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where we are going, how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me, if you know me then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him. "Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me Philip? Whoever 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 that Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his work. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or else leave because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to the Father."
The Gospel of the Lord.
It's a matter of life and death, how often had we heard that cliche, how often in our own confusion or frustration or moment of doubt or simple fear have we found ourselves proclaiming, “But you don’t understand! It's a matter of life and death.” Well it is. It's all a matter of life and death. And the Easter season reminds us that now is the time for life. That's the Easter story, a story of life. A life rooted and grounded in the love of God that continues to pour out to us over and over and over again, a love which brings us to know who God is. Not just intellectually or through books or through some abstract images or ideas but through the experience of everyday life. We come in to a more intimate relationship with a love that is God. This is our desire, this is what we want. And we hear it in the words of Thomas today, “I want this, show me how I have this.” And Jesus says, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life.” Peter says in the epistle today, that you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy people, people of his own, this is the truth, this is what we too often want to possess, we want to keep it and hold it as our own, and yet if we are to profess that Jesus is the truth, it is not about us possessing, it's about us being possessed by Jesus. It is not about us possessing, it is about us being possessed by the truth that God has made us and sustains us out of his love. And this is what gives life that Jesus is. We breathe in air, we breathe out air and we are reminded that we need this to be alive in the same way we are reminded that we must take in Jesus and be of Jesus in order to have life, that we take in his compassion and his love and his forgiveness and justice, and then proclaim it to the world. And that we have life, and in this Jesus is the life that turns us away from darkness, the darkness that is of anger and jealousy and hatred and injustice, darkness that keeps us from reconciling and becoming one with one another. And when we turn from that, we see the life and the light and the love, more clearly, so we know it really is about life and death. But Easter now is the time for life. Now is the time for life. We stand to profess with the Apostle’s Creed on page 43.
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