Jesus leads us on our journey of life

Before the advent of GPS devices and current apps like Waze and Google Maps, we either had to memorise the roads that led to our intended destination or we kept referring to a printed map.

May 05, 2023

                Reflecting on our Sunday Readings with Fr Philip Tay, OCD

5th Sunday of Easter (A)
Readings: Acts of the Apostle 6:1-7
1 Peter 2:4-9;
Gospel: John 14:1-12

Before the advent of GPS devices and current apps like Waze and Google Maps, we either had to memorise the roads that led to our intended destination or we kept referring to a printed map. However, with time, changes have taken place and roads have changed so much that we no longer recognise the roads we used to know so well. It is not that our memory is faulty, it’s just that nothing stays constant.

When things around us change, we too need to change in order to keep up with the development around us. With GPS apps on our phones, we face lesser challenges in finding our way because the GPS app will usually give the best possible route for us to follow. However, these things sometimes fail us as well.

This is how it is when we talk about our journey to the heavenly kingdom. All of us are pilgrims heading towards the same destination but how is it that some do not make it? Some lose their way and some abandon their journey totally. What kind of direction are we following on our journey? Do we follow what the world tells us or do we follow some other sources? Often times, the ways of the world are so attractive and alluring but in following the map given by the world, we often end up straying from the actual way that leads to our heavenly home.

The Gospel reading today gives us a clear direction, sort of like the best possible way to get to heaven. Jesus tells His disciples that He is the Way, He is the Truth and He is the Life. Whenever someone makes a remark that all religion also teaches about the life after, my reply is always, “Jesus did not say that He is A Way or A Truth or A Life, He IS The Way, THE Truth and THE Life.” This tells us that Jesus IS THE definite Way, Truth and Life, not something that is constantly changing and shifting. When we follow Christ, we are assured that we will not lose our way or go astray but will reach our destination.

The question then, is this, what is the way, the truth and the life? When we follow directions from the GPS app, it will tell us where to turn and how long we need to drive before making the next turn. It warns us of whatever is ahead of us.

Similarly, Jesus, as The Way, leads us forward and tells us precisely where to go, where to change direction and what possible dangers lie ahead. Where do we find these directions? The answer is obvious, in the passages of Holy Scripture. Since Jesus is the Word of God, as told to us in the Gospel of St. John, He IS our ultimate source of the Word of God, which gives us clear direction in life. Some of you may know the BIBLE as an acronym i.e., Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Hence, if we faithfully read and ponder on the Word of God and allow it to change us to be in conformity with God, we will not lose our way but, like following the GPS, we will be able to keep our feet firmly on the way to heaven.

The world will tell us that truth is relative. In the famous quote from the 90s TV series X Files, “The truth is out there”, we are constantly bombarded from various angles telling us that truth is how one sees it and it’s out there somewhere. The fact is, there is only one source of Truth and that Truth is God. The Truth of God is absolute and unchanging, the truth of the world changes with the passing of age. Only when we rely on the unchanging Truth of God can we maintain our steps firmly on the safest path.

Finally, we speak of Christ as The Life. Christ tells us that He came so that we can have life to the fullest. The world tells us that we live our life to the fullest when we live out our potential and achieve as much as we can in life. But we all know that life on earth is finite, we can’t live forever. The Life that Christ offers goes beyond what is physical. This is what we hope for, life eternal. On our earthly journeys, we rely very much on our devices and technology but if we want to reach our heavenly life, we need to follow the heavenly GPS, who is none other than Christ The Way, The Truth and The Life.

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