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Saturday, 06 May 2023 17:48

The Fifth Sunday of Easter - 2023

BELIEVE SO THAT ONE MAY LIVE.

Fr Quang 150Before his earthly departure, Jesus in his farewell discourse to his disciples (Jn 14) assured them that not only would he not leave them orphans, but he also introduces them into his spiritual family, a spiritual family that has many rooms able to accommodate all, and is life giving.

In this spiritual family, Jesus repeatedly emphasises his intimate union with the Father. He identifies himself with the Father so completely intimately that to see him is to see the Father; he is in the Father and the Father is in him; to know him is to know the Father. In short, he and the Father are One. Jesus invites us to be part of this spiritual family and to be One with the Father as he is.

Believe The Gospel of John Shutterstock 550Paradoxically, in saying his farewell words to the disciples, he is at the same time not going away ‘up there’ but remains in us in a different but intimate way. As long as we keep his Words, we are connected to him and remain in him as he remains in the Father by doing what the Father commanded him to do. That’s why Jesus said, no one can come to the Father except through him.

Like Thomas, we may ask how do we know the way to be with this spiritual family where Jesus and the Father are One, and that we are welcomed to be part of? We don’t have to look for it too hard. Jesus himself is the WAY. There are many ways in this world as people often say ‘all ways lead to Rome’. But not all ways lead to truth and life. Many of them can be misleading and destructive. Jesus however insists “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, and he promises those who follow him will live. He is the Good Sheperd leading us on to the way of life.

Finally, in this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus keeps mentioning “believe”. Knowing him is not enough. Many people know him but do not necessarily believe in him. Many of his contemporary Jews knew him, but they refused to believe him. Atheists may know more about Jesus than us, but this knowing is not saving them, because they don’t believe.

In this Easter season, we, his followers, recall his words to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me (as saviour) will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (Jn 11:25-26)

John Quang svd.