By the end of the Last Supper, the disciples begin to figure out that Jesus won’t be with them much longer. The sudden departure of Judas, the announcement that Peter will deny him soon, Jesus’ words talking about his coming fate – have left them all upset and shaken. What will become of them?
Jesus feels their sadness and their confusion. His heart is touched. Forgetting himself and what awaits him, Jesus tries to encourage them: «Don’t let your hearts be troubled; you trust in God, trust also in me». Later, as the conversation continues, Jesus makes this confession: «I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me». They should never forget it.
«I am the way»
The problem that many have isn’t so much that they go about lost or on the wrong path. They simply don’t have a path, they’re lost in a kind of labyrinth, walking back and forth the thousands of paths that, seen from outside, are indicated by the buzz words and fads of the moment.
And what can a man or woman do when they find themselves without a path? From whom can they ask directions? Where can they go? If they follow in Jesus’ footsteps, they can go forward facing problems and difficulties, but they are on a sure path that leads them to the Father. This is Jesus’ promise.
«I am the truth»
These words contain a scandalous invitation for modern ears. And yet even today we need to listen to Jesus. Not everything can be reduced to reason. Scientific theory doesn’t encompass all truth. The final mystery of reality doesn’t allow itself to be trapped by analysis, no matter how sophisticated. Human beings must live in the face of the ultimate mystery of reality.
Jesus presents himself as the path that leads us close to that ultimate Mystery. God doesn’t impose Self. God doesn’t force anyone by proofs or evidence. The ultimate Mystery is silence and respectful attraction. Jesus is the way that can open us up to God’s Goodness.
«I am the life»
Jesus can transform our lives. Not as the far off teacher who has left humanity with a legacy of admirable wisdom, but as a living being who from his own depths sows a seed of new life in us.
This action of Jesus in us almost always gets produced in a discrete and quiet way. The believer him/her self only feels an imperceptible presence. Sometimes, however, certainty overtakes us, an overflowing joy, a complete confidence: God exists, God loves us, everything is possible, even eternal life. We will never understand Christian faith if we don’t welcome Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf