By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – 5-18-14
Every generation of Christian believers need to struggle with and come to terms with the question: “Where is the risen Jesus?” Sixty to 70 years after Jesus’ death, early Christian communities were beginning to fall apart so deeply felt was Jesus’ absence.
The community of John’s Gospel was in such a crisis. This is why John’s Gospel came about. The writer devoted chapters 14 to 17 as a reflection on how the absent Jesus is the present Jesus in the life of the community.
Sunday’s Gospel (John 14:1-12) begins to lead the 2014 community on its reflection about the absent/present Jesus in the community’s life.
Thomas and Phillip speak for the community: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Through John’s Gospel, the risen Jesus will lead the community to deeper faith awareness of how present the absent Jesus is. As the community contemplates, Jesus’ words are fulfilled:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled … I am the way, and the truth, and the life … If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know the Father and have seen the Father.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)