DON’T BE LEFT
At the end of the Last Supper, Jesus begins to say goodbye to his own: he won’t be with them much longer. The disciples are left confused and frightened. Though he doesn’t say it clearly to them, they all intuit that soon death will snatch him from their side. What will become of them without him?
Jesus sees them upset. It’s the time to reaffirm them in faith, teaching them to believe in God in a different way: «Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me». They need to keep trusting in God, but from now on they need to believe also in him, since he is the best path for believing in God.
Jesus later describes a new horizon for them. His death doesn’t have to shipwreck their faith. In reality, he leaves them in order to travel to the mystery of the Father. But he won’t forget them. He will continue thinking about them. He will prepare a place for them in the Father’s house and one day he will return to take them with him. Finally they will be together again forever!
For the disciples it’s hard to believe in something so grand. In their heart there awaken all kinds of doubts and questions. Also for us something similar happens: isn’t this all just a beautiful dream? Isn’t it a deceitful illusion? Who can guarantee such a destiny for us? Thomas, with his continually realistic sensibility, only asks him one question: how can we know the way that leads to the mystery of God?
Jesus’ answer is an unexpected challenge: «I am the way, the truth and the life». Such a bold affirmation is unknown in the history of religions. Jesus offers himself as the way we can run to enter into the mystery of a God who is Father. He can discover for us the ultimate secret of existence. He can communicate to us the full life that the human heart yearns for.
Today there are many men and women who have been left without paths to God. They aren’t atheists. They’ve never rejected God consciously. Nor do they themselves know if they believe or not. Maybe they’ve left the Church because they haven’t found in her an attractive path to joyfully seek the ultimate mystery of life that we believers call «God».
When they abandon the Church, some have abandoned Jesus at the same time. With these simple lines I want to tell you something that you intuit a lot. Jesus is greater than the Church. Don’t confuse Christ with Christians. Don’t confuse Jesus’ Gospel with our sermons. Though you have left it all, don’t be left without Jesus. In him you will find the way, the truth and the life that we haven’t known how to show you. Jesus can surprise you.
Jose Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf