4TH WEEK OF EASTER
How can we know the way?
Imagine you are hiking in the mountains with an experienced guide. There are lots of trees, and the trail is faint at times. But your guide knows the way, so you feel secure with him. Then all of a sudden, he says, “I’m going on ahead to set up camp. Just follow the trail, and everything will be great.” Suddenly, panic rises up in you: “Wait, what? You can’t leave me; I don’t know the way!”
Today’s Gospel features a similar scene: Jesus has told the disciples he’s going away, and the apostles begin to panic—Wait, what? Then Thomas speaks for all of them: “How can we know the way?” (John 14:5).
Doesn’t Thomas sound like us? Here we are, trying to follow Jesus, but since we don’t see him, it can be hard for us to feel that we’re on the right path.
Maybe we can take Jesus’ words to Thomas as his answer to us as well: “I am the way” (John 14:6). If Jesus himself is the way—the path—then we can be confident that we’re on track when we are trying to follow the example he left for us.
For example, Jesus lived a life of sacrifice and service. So if you ever feel unsure of which way you should go, you can start by asking which is the way of greater self-giving. It can be hard to give up that quiet moment you had been looking forward to so that you can care for someone else, but it’s quite possible that the Spirit is inviting you to follow Jesus’ way. You can be sure that every time you take him up on his invitation, your heart will change a little more until Jesus’ way becomes almost second nature to you.
Or think of how Jesus related to other people. He saw each of them, even his enemies, as children beloved by his heavenly Father. He saw through their selfishness or anger or envy and recognized the hurt they were carrying and their need to encounter God’s love. Is there someone that you have a hard time loving? You can follow Jesus’ way by remembering God’s love for them. Then you can ask the Spirit to make you more like Christ by softening your heart toward them.
How can we know the way? There is one simple answer to this question: Jesus is the way. Imitate him.
“Jesus, you are my way. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.”