Life & Soul

Lectio Divina

Fifth Sunday of Easter: John 14:1-12

1 “Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me.
2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so.
3 And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am.
4 You know the way that leads to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; so how can we know the way to get there?”
6 Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.
7 Now that you have known me,” he said to them, “you will know my Father also, and from now on you do know him and you have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.”
9 Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Do you not believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I have spoken to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “do not come from me. The Father, who remains in me, does his own work.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If not, believe because of the things I do.
12 I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do – yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.”

Other readings: Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; 1 Peter 2:4-9

LECTIO

This conversation takes place about the time of the Passover meal in Jerusalem. Jesus knows that his imminent arrest and crucifixion will be a severe trial for his disciples.

Jesus doesn’t say so explicitly but verses 2-4 seem to be referring to heaven. Jesus knows that after his crucifixion he will rise from the dead and join his Father in heaven.

The promise for his disciples is that after they die they too will join him in heaven, but Jesus doesn’t make this plain. His answer to Thomas – that he is the way, the truth and the life, and the only way to the Father – probably didn’t make things any clearer for them at the time. In his exchange with Philip, Jesus focuses on his unity with God the Father. This is a difficult concept for the disciples to understand. In fact, it has taken centuries of the Church’s meditation and reflection to scratch the surface of the mystery of the Trinity. But Jesus points out that whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father: in Jesus we can see what God the Father is like.

Our reading ends today with Jesus’s intriguing statement that his followers will do greater things than he does. This is linked to the gift of the Holy Spirit which we will read more about in the coming weeks.

It is helpful to remind ourselves of the advice Jesus gives his disciples right at the outset of this conversation: “Do not be worried and upset … believe in God and believe also in me.”

MEDITATIO

How is Jesus the way, the truth and the life, and the only way to the Father?

How has Jesus proved to be the way for you personally? How does this affect your everyday life?

What can we learn from this passage about trusting in God? How can you apply this in your daily life?

ORATIO

Psalm 33 speaks about God’s faithfulness. Read the whole Psalm and then respond to him in prayer. Like the disciples, we don’t always understand everything, but we can be confident that God is faithful and good.

CONTEMPLATIO

Consider these verses below from 1 Peter 2:4-6. Think about Jesus as the cornerstone of God’s Kingdom. Ask God how you can be a “living stone” in his temple:

“Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. For the Scripture says: ‘I chose a valuable stone, which I am placing as the cornerstone in Zion; and whoever believes in him will never be disappointed.’”

Lectio Divina is an ancient tradition of reading and engaging with God’s Word