Reflection on the Gospel of John 14:1-14: Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 7, 2023

Gospel of John 14:1-14 Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”

The Collect for The Fifth Sunday of Easter: God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us Pray: O God, You inspire the hearts of the faithful with a single longing, Grant your people to love what you command And to desire what you promise, So that in all the changes and chances Of this uncertain world, Our hearts may surely there be fixed Where true joys are to be found; Through Jesus Christ who is alive with you, In the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever. Amen.

Jesus responds to the anxiety of his disciples by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” (14:1). Jesus calls them back to this fundamental relationship of trust and assures them that he is not abandoning them. So, the belief that Jesus has not abandoned us is what has got us to this point, through all those twists and turns, the many challenges, the struggles, and the surprises. In answering that question, we will find it is our faith that has brought us here. The faith that God loves us and is guiding us through every day. Remember you are a child of light, don’t be afraid as you are born to live a story that never ends. A story that Jesus told to the disciples that he was going to the Father to prepare a place for them. He not only prepared a place for them he prepared a place for us. This Gospel is used at many celebrations of life. It is not intended for the dead, but it is for us the living. It is a message of a promise, a promise that if we believe we will have everlasting life. It gives comfort to those who mourn, that the departed have gone to join others who believe, and it gives us hope that we will join them also for eternal life. As companions of those who mourn, we walk together, together sharing our prayers, our words of encouragement and each other’s burdens. The walk in this life is a prelude to an invitation to eternity, an invitation offered by a power greater than any mind can comprehend who invites us to join him in His mansion.

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?Is this our problem also, we have had Jesus with us, but do we know Him? We know of him, but do we truly know him. If we did, we would be making sure that the hungry were fed and clothed. We would be helping those who are less fortunate. It has been an interesting time; we were all in the same boat. How differently we acted. It seems that for some their generosity increased, food banks were getting help with donations and volunteers. People were making and donating needed face masks. It is a shame we have to have a major disruption of life to bring out the good in people, why can’t we be like that all the time? For others they started hoarding and ignoring the thoughts of being a good neighbor. Three years later where are we? Have we gone back to how we were before the pandemic, odds are yes, we have. If we just take some time and realize that Jesus is with us each and every moment maybe, we will act differently. Maybe as Jesus said to Phillip, haven’t I been with you, and you still don’t know me? I wonder is that our problem, even though he is with us we do not know Him. So, we are to go forth into the world with the knowledge that knowing God through His Son Jesus will give us the strength to face uncertainty in our lives and to know that the promise Jesus left with us will provide us solace and comfort as we mourn those we have lost and to give us hope as we do the work of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me”.

Let us pray: God our Father, You have revealed your love for us In the death and Resurrection of Jesus your Son. Increase our love for one another. That we may be your disciples in name and in truth. This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen

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