The Lord's Day" Gospel Reflection for May 10, 2020, Fifth Sunday of Easter (John 14: 1-12) Featured
Nicholas Pierlot gives a reflection on John 14: 1-12 ("I am the way, and the truth, and the life") as part of our The Lord's Day Sunday Gospel reflection series.
To assist in this time, St. Therese Institute would like to share some resources to keep your Sabbath day holy.
- Magnificat has made available a free, online subscription to their monthly publication of daily prayer, mass readings, and reflections by saints and pertinent theologians. A free PDF of the Sunday mass readings (using the NAB translation), with reflections, a form of liturgy of the hours, etc. is available at this link: ENGLISH https://us.magnificat.net/free FRENCH https://canada.magnificat.net/
As quoted from their website, Magnificat is:
"... a spiritual guide to help you develop your prayer life, grow in your spiritual life, find a way to a more profound love for Christ, and participate in the holy Mass with greater fervor."
Magnificat is a monthly publication designed for daily use, to encourage both liturgical and personal prayer. It can be used to follow daily Mass and can also be read at home or wherever you find yourself for personal or family prayer."
- Another good resource is Universalis.com. This is a free web resource that contains the Liturgy of the Hours and the daily mass readings with helpful instructions and various service. As well, one can use Canada's lectionary by selecting it in the settings.
It is our hope that these resources may support your life of prayer and devotion.
- First Reading – Acts 6:1-7
- Responsorial – Psalm 32(33):1-2,4-5,18-19
- Second Reading – 1 Peter 2:4-9
- Gospel – John 14:1-12
John 14: 1-12 – Sunday Gospel Reflection – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Nicholas Pierlot, Assistant Director of Formation, St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission
May 10, 2020
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus makes an astonishing claim: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). For those who regularly attend Church and read the scriptures, this statement may be quite familiar and even uncontroversial. Yet, when one begins to really look at it, this claim has drastic implications and raises some of the most serious human questions.
The most disturbing aspect of Christ’s claim is where we have heard it before. In ancient times, tyrants used similar language, self-proclaiming themselves “sons of god”, in other words, as gods. The way, truth, and life they modelled on themselves usually meant slavery and suffering for different tribes, other nations, and often their own. In our own time, we hear this kind of language in insane asylums and from the mouths of cult leaders. Perhaps most chillingly, the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century embraced something of this mantra. Their ‘way’ of being human was absolute service to the state or the cause. Their ‘truth’ was for the good of the motherland, or the emancipation of the working class. Their ‘life’? Many ended in the gulag and the concentration camp. Thus, we have reason to pause when considering Christ’s words. According to history, those words usually translate to one thing: bad news for humanity.
Jesus Christ is the only created being in the universe who can say these words rightly and with good results. This is because of who he is. C.S. Lewis once said that Jesus could only be one of three things: a lunatic, a liar, or Lord. For multiple reasons, he does not seem to be a lunatic or a liar. Therefore, the only logical answer is that he is who he says he is, the Son of God (cf. Mk 14:61-62). As the Church’s council of Chalcedon explains, Jesus is “perfect both in deity and in humanness” and “actually God and actually man”. Because he is fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ is the only person who can reveal definitively the truth of existence, the way to be human, and the destiny of life. Christ is the North Star of humanity because he is the only one who remains fixed in the heavens.
But how do these considerations actually relate to each of us, personally? Christ is significant for all of humanity, but also for each individual says the scriptures: “He calls his own sheep by name” (Jn 10:3). Still, we could be nervous. Tyrants with absolute perspectives on life tend to be violent to different races, religions, and personalities. Rather than cope with uniqueness, tyrants tend to white-wash distinction and impose uniformity on all. But Christ is King, not a tyrant. He has a different approach. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). According to St. Thomas Aquinas, God’s grace does not destroy nature, but works through and perfects nature. Thus, varying natural gifts and personalities are willed in God’s plan; the flourishing of each person in his uniqueness is what Christ is after. He weaves all into a tapestry of many colors and shapes. If we sense that his offering is somehow antithetical to our flourishing, he invites us to dialogue with him in prayer to discover how his way, his truth, and his life are indeed our good. When we accept the universality of Christ, we are embracing the source of our freedom—not a dictatorship.
Nicholas Pierlot is the Assistant Director of Formation at St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission in Bruno, SK, where Sacred Scripture is one of his favourite topics to instruct on. Nick holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Prince Edward Island and M.A. in Catholic Applied Theology from the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England. He lives in Bruno with his wife Denise, their daughter Rosé. They are expecting a new addition to the family this summer.
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