THE TRUTH: A HOMILY ON FRIDAY, FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER
When I was studying philosophy, one thing I found fascinating is how there will be two oppositing views on the same issues and when you are listening to one of the views, it makes sense, and when you listen to the opposite view it also makes sense. Sometimes when two people are in disagreement, you will listen to one person and without listening to the other person, you will quickly support the one you have listened to. Later, when you listen to the other person, you may begin to wonder who is right and who is wrong. With this in mind, we remember that at the time of Jesus, the world was divided between those who recognized him as the messiah and those who did not. In fact the voice of those who did not was louder.
In the First Reading, St. Paul reminds the people of how this opposition led to the death of Jesus. Sometimes I try to put myself in the shoes of the Jews and I begin to wonder if I would not have done something worse. How will you feel if your neighbour’s son grows up and start saying he has been sent by God from heaven? How will you feel if he says he is God? How will you feel if he says you must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to be saved? These are hard sayings and difficult to believe. For us it is easier because we have many generations of witnesses to look up to. Even at that, we often hear the Word of God and we end up doing our own thing. If it is hard for us, how much more for people who did not have prior witnesses.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we do not have options. He is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way, no other truth, no other life. I often laugh when people say ‘This is my truth. You are free to have your own truth.’ We often feel we have to do things our own way. Well, there is no other way. There is only one way, and that is the Jesus’ way. I dont know why our ancestors rejected Jesus. But I know why I often go my own way. I often go my own way, not because I dont know it is the wrong way, but because the Jesus’ way is too hard; rather it appears to be too hard. Sometimes it seems impossible. Therefore I go my own way, which is the easy way out. But going my own way is like sometimes when you take a turn and you find a sign that tells you it is a dead end. You see a road, and often a nice-looking road, but it leads nowhere. It only leads to a dead end. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way to the father. It may be a hard road, but it is not as hard as it appears. It is harder to follow a way that leads to a dead end. We need courage to take it. We may not have what it takes to take it. But He will make it possible for us. Do not be afraid. Let your heart not be troubled. Take it!