Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. (John 14:5-6 NRSV).
There is a spiritual danger to read these words of Jesus and presume we know exactly what Jesus is saying about Himself. I would suggest that Jesus is talking about what He is going to do when He ascends into Heaven and later sends the Holy Spirit. The mood of the party is about to change as to what is going to happen, and what it will mean. It will through us into confusion. Things as we have known them will not be the same. What we do next is not so much about the Who or the ending. It is about what we do with the here and now so that we may go from here to where Jesus wants to lead us. Previous plans will become obsolete. What should have been, no longer applies. What we wanted will no longer matter.
Thomas asked Jesus “How can we know the way?” A man is finally stopping to ask for directions. lol. Jesus tells Thomas that He is the way, the truth and the life. We need to be very careful about assuming that because Jesus said that He is these things, means we have the answer. Jesus’ way, truth and life are mysterious at best. We can presume to know that Jesus is talking about Himself, and all we have to do is follow Him from an ideology. If we stop at what we know and understand, we will cut ourselves off from the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and relationships.
What we need to bring to our time of contemplative prayer, is that God, the Holy Spirit is calling us to turn ourselves over to the way of Jesus, so that we may know the eternal truth of God in our hearts, and search for the life that God wants us to find. God guides us into that way, truth and life in Jesus in the here and now, to guide us onward to a renewed relationship with our true-sense of self. A self that is not caught up in labels, positions, what we own, or have, or do. It is our true selves, our essence in which all we know is that we are God’s beloved, and with us, God is well-pleased.
“Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset, But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” (RB: 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict in Latin and English. The Prologue, p.165).
When you read that Jesus is the way, truth and life, what does that mean for you?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB