I am the way the truth and the life – How rich are these three words! John:14, 1−12 Commentary

1. Introductory prayer 

God the Father, you invite me to believe – until the end. But in me is Thomas, which again does not know, and Philip, who doubts and again needs just one more thing, before he can take a step forward. You give them also the courage to ask you in a confidential conversation, to express their doubts. I pray for the courage to ask, and to open to your grace that I may believe with all my heart.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to John  14, 1−12

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[ my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

See all the other Bible readings and meditations

3. Thoughts on the Gospel

  • Today the Gospel is introducing us to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Gospel passage is taken from Jesus’ farewell speech during the last supper. After the washing of the feet where he proved to the disciples love to the end, he tried to open to the end also his heart.
  • He speaks to them about the Father. “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” he says. “My Father’s house has many rooms „Jesus is going there to prepare a place for them and take them to himself. Students are interested in the way to the Father.

I am the way the truth and the life„ Jesus answered. How rich are these three words! A person cannot take enough time to understand them to the end.

  • The way. Since time the mankind is looking for the way to God, consciously or unconsciously. Any pursuit of happiness, satisfaction, eternity, is actually a search for God.
  • Also various faux pas, such as malice, hatred, and evil, somewhere deep reveals human longing for God. St. Augustine said, that our heart is restless until it can rest in God? Here is the consolation of Jesus ‘words:’ I am the way.

No one comes to the Father except through me.” Each of his words or commands, any company with him brings us closer to the Father.

  • The truth. “What is the truth?” exclaimed Pilate. Isn’t this question always alive? Who is not looking for the truth? How many human thoughts and conversations has the world heard, how many millions of books have been and will be written, and all this in the desire to find the truth.
  • Jesus’ reply, “I am the truth” suggests that Pilate’s question should be a little different: Who is the truth? It is not some rational truth to which we come with thinking, reasoning, or something like that. It’s the person with whom I can be in a relationship, I trust this person, love and accept his love.

Last Jesus’ question to Peter will not be: Do you know what is the truth? But “Do you love me?”

  • And the life. When Jesus said “I am the life,” he replied to one of the basic human longing, and that is longing for life. When God created a man, he gave him to eat from the tree of life in the middle of the garden.
  • The focus is therefore God and the human desire for life and the eternal. Even after sin, when man already smelled death, the longing has stayed. He wanted to save himself, even at the expense of killing others, and yet in every way he wanted to live. As it was in him a lust for life that only God himself is able to satisfy.

When Jesus said that He is the way and the truth and the life, the students expressed one, perhaps the deepest human desire: ““Lord, show us the Father«. Jesus’ response is simple: „Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father“

  • What connection branches from these words! As Jesus tries to open his heart to the students to see in him the Father. All of Jesus’ desires are also the Fathers and all his works are as such as He seen them from his Father. We remain but to look to the loving relationship between the Father and the Son. Jesus wants us to join them, but the two of them are also longing for that they could reside within us.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • Jesus has opened his heart to us and I am invited to open myself to Him – In the confidentiality I tell him, what burdens my heart.
  • Some ways seem not to bring any sense. Which way can I look with Jesus, with His hope to see the way in a new light, His Light?
  • To the end Jesus kept His loving attitude towards us. In which relations is He calling me to express my love and take a step forward?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

See all the other Bible readings and meditations

7. Action 

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

Jesus, you are the way and the truth and the life. Thank you for directing me at the intersections and giving me the courage which overcomes fear. OPEN, please, the way of my heart that remains open to faith and makes a step to which you call me.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si