Reflection for Saturday – Fourth Week of Easter – 27th April 2024

Yesterday’s Gospel reading, also from John, gave us the declaration of Jesus ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’. Today’s Gospel ends with the effect of these three epithets – ‘If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it’. No politician, no matter how desperate his or her bid for election or indeed re-election is, would dare to issue such a seeming blank check. Even before recording devices on mobile phones became a reality, people had a deep memory bank for such promises. However, Jesus is not canvassing for support at the polls but communicating the consequence of calling himself by these three epithets.

As the Way Jesus opens the door to human intercession and divine intervention. This wonderful exchange between heaven and earth is the basis for faith.

As the Truth Jesus invites his hearers to trust in God. While Paul calls God ‘the Father of mercies’, the Gospel of John multiplies mentions of God the Father ‘who did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him’ (3:17). Trust in the tenderness of God the Father and in the truthfulness of the Son is the basis for hope reflected in the Introduction to Pope Benedict’s encyclical Saved by Hope: ‘Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal’.[1]

This goal is eternal life and as the Life Jesus reveals that his mission is to mediate entry into this eternal existence. Again Saint John states, (in the verse that precedes the one above), ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life’ (3:16). Entering into his Passion, at the beginning of his Last Supper and Priestly Prayer, Saint John says that ‘Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father [and] having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end’ (13:1). This gift of eternal life by both the Father and the Son enables those who follow Jesus in faith and fear God with hope to find love, the love that leads to life and looks to the fulfilment of truth. 

Fr Kevin O’Gorman SMA

[1] Spe Salvi – Saved by Hope, 2007, par. 1

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