Beautiful, precious words in John’s Gospel today. The first portion of this Gospel is probably very familiar to you, for if you have attended funerals, you have surely heard these verses proclaimed. I have the incredible privilege as a Pastoral Associate to lead prayer at many of the wakes that take place for our parishioners and I as read this particular Gospel to the people, I see in their eyes and in their faces a longing to believe in the promise from Jesus that his Father has prepared a place for them and that he will come to take them to that place. I pray that all who hear God’s word proclaimed do believe that they have a home in heaven, an eternal joy in God’s presence, prepared for each and every person who believes in Jesus Christ.
Even Thomas the disciple who had been with Jesus throughout his three years of public ministry and had personally witnessed the death and Resurrection of Christ, still doubted that he and his friends could possibly know the way to reach that place that God had prepared. So Jesus, in very clear language tells him and all who were with him, “I am the way, the 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.” John 14.6-7
Incredibly, Philip beckons Jesus to show them the Father and then they will know and understand. I can only imagine that Jesus might be thinking, “Really? So many times I have told you the Father has sent me and is in me and I am in the Father; that the Father and I are one, how is it you continue to question that?” We might ask ourselves the same thing, why do we continue to question that God has prepared a place for us? Why are so many people not so sure about that? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, do I truly believe in Jesus Christ and who he is and why God sent him? Do I believe that I am worthy of having a place reserved for me in heaven? By the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God sending his own Son to die for our sins, our place in heaven is reserved if only we truly believe and live as Christ taught us.
This message is comforting and yet it also challenges us to examine our lives in light of what Jesus teaches. Do we love God above all else in life? Do we love our neighbor (all of God’s people) as ourselves? Do others see God’s love reflected in our words and actions and attitudes? If we are committed to working on these things throughout our lives here on earth, then Jesus and his Father promise our place in heaven is prepared and it is there that we will live in absolute peace and joy!
Let us take time this week to think about our faith in Jesus Christ and how we live it. May we continue to grow in faith as we spend time with Christ in prayer and as we live our lives as his disciples. Believe in Jesus and the One who sent him. Believe and receive eternal life!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC