Sunday, May 14, 2017

You Know the Way (Easter, 2017-05-14, Mother's Day)

Sunday May 14, 2017 /  5th Sunday Easter  & Mother’s Day

Title: “You Know the Way (?) ”

[__01__]    This was a conversation at the Last Supper. Jesus was speaking to his disciples at the Last Supper. And, he is speaking about a departure. He speaking about leaving them.
            And, when they asked where is he would be going, Jesus said to them these famous last words.   You and I have also heard these famous last words right before we departed or right before someone walked or drive ahead of you.
            “You know the way.”
            “You know the way, right?”
            We are asked to follow someone but we are also told by someone else that we ALREADY know the way.
            Such is the message of our Savior to his disciples.
            “Where I am going you know the way.”

[__02__]      In a spiritual sense, Jesus is telling us that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
          We know this from geometry and geography.
          However, from experience, we also know the challenge due to many turnpikes and tunnels. We cannot always reach our destination with a perfectly straight line.
          Nevertheless, the shortest distance is a straight line.
          And, Jesus is reminding us that he is our line, our direction and destination.
          Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
          You know the way, right?
We are always learning the way in our lives.
          And, it is not always easy to learn the way. There are times when we may falter or be knocked down, we may go in the wrong direction.
          We may feel uncertain of ourselves even on familiar territory, uncertain of ourselves even among people whom we know very well.
          Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
          He is our new ONE-DIRECTION, ONE-WAY to heaven.

[__03__]    Jesus gives us the way. In other words,  [►STABILITY (“way”)]. He gives us the truth, in other words,  [►SINCERITY (“truth”)]
He is giving us the life, he is teaching us [►SURVIVAL (“life”)].
[__04__]    [►STABILITY] is good. We favor this over INSTABILITY.
          And, the longer we stay in a particular place, the more stable we feel, the better we know the place.
          Several years ago, I went one weekend to a wedding in I returned to Lancaster (Pennsylvania) for the weekend and for the wedding of a friend of mine.  While I had gone to college in Lancaster, this was not the wedding of a classmate.  However, the wedding was on my college’s campus, in a building I had entered or passed by countless times.
          In this case, I was the only one with local knowledge of the roads and destinations. And, this was before GPS and satellites etc.
          So, I was the only one in the group with some indigenous experience. You know the way, right?   Sort of.
          By the end of the weekend, we had made so many wrong turns that it seemed my diploma from this institution was probably a fake.  Are you sure that you live and studied here for four years?
          I did not know enough about the turns and turnpikes of southeastern Pennsylvania. And, I recall feeling frustrated and embarrassed over this situation.
          My fear was misplaced.
          Yes, our Savior is also trying to calm the fears of the apostles who are not yet sure of the next turn or exit ramp.
          Where are you going?
          The important thing in Lancaster – or in Jerusalem – was not the next turn, but rather the destination. We arrived at the wedding, the reception and made all the celebrations.
          Yes, there were some wrong turns. But our stability – our way – was not ruined by the wrong turns.
          In a similar fashion, our Lord urges us to repent of our sins, seek confession/forgiveness not to remember all of the faults and misdirections but rather to remind ourselves of the direction in which we are going.
          He is the way. Yes, famous last words.
          He is the way, the truth and the life. And, the shortest between 2 points is a straight line, to him.

[__05__]    Jesus is also teaching us about truth or about [►SINCERITY].
          Our straight line is to Jesus, again.
          We are called to be truthful, to be honest.
          The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
          Now sometimes, in my effort to be TRUTHFUL, to be HONEST …or even to be HARD WORKING … I have figured out where that straight line is. And, I am going to tell you where it is.
          But, is this my opinion, or this God’s sincerity and truth?
          Loving God and loving our neighbor is an invitation to listen to both.
          We can arrive at the truth and true love by listening to the other person.
          Have I taken into account the person who is on my straight line?
          This reminds us that that TRUTH, SINCERITY is not a calculation by one person but rather a common path revealed by God for the good of all.
          Jesus is the truth.

[__05__]     Jesus also tells that he is the life.   [►SURVIVAL (“life”)]
          Jesus is also our life.
          Today is Mother’s Day. And, our connection to our mothers is based survival. Our mothers gave us life, they helped us to survive.  Everything that a mother does is to help her child to survive, to live.
          Even if a mother must – and all mothers do this – must withdraw and let her son or daughter be independent and make decisions, this is also for his or her life, for survival.
          Yes,  a sword pierces the heart of the Blessed Mother as her son is experiences the Passion. But, this is also for her survival and our survival.
          This Sunday, we pray especially for every mother and grandmother who has suffered the passing away (death) of a child or grandchild.  Their faith and perseverance are inspirations to us. Their trust in God’s mercy and care for their children helps us  to recall Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.
[__05__]      Speaking about the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus is also communicating to his disciples that his life would have purpose. That his suffering would have a purpose.
          Yes, there would be a painful delay; there are painful delays.
          Several years ago, a friend of mine was going to visit his mother who was in latter stages of Alzheimer's, of dementia.  By this time, he was no longer recognizable to his mother. But, what he said – and what many people can and say under these circumstances – is “I am not visiting my mother because she knows who I am…I am visiting her because I know who she is.”
          God comes to visit us; Jesus comes to us not because we always recognize and request him. He comes to us, knowing that we sometimes deny him 3 or more times, taking the initiative to help us to be STABLE, to be SINCERE, to SURVIVE, to know him as the the way, the truth, and the life.
          This is the life, the way, and the discovery of truth that we are precious in God’s eyes and that in the Father’s there are many mansions; he (Jesus, our Savior)  is going to prepare a place for us and take us to himself.  (cf., John 14:1-3)  [__fin__]

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