Fifth Sunday of Easter

I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

This is a 5 minute facilitated meditation on opening ourselves to the presence of God within, particularly in the context of our current confinement

Alternatively use this method of entering quiet:

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Introduce the Gospel

The journey for the disciples of Jesus from the events of Easter through to Pentecost was one of growing in understanding. It is a journey from total confusion and loss through to the confidence of Pentecost Day, when they are empowered to spread the Good News of the resurrected Christ. The Gospels of these weeks between Easter and Pentecost are aimed at helping us to come more fully into that journey with them.

Jesus is already now today our way, our truth and our life. As the Gospel says, to have eternal life is to believe in him whom God has sent (Jn 5:24; 17:3). This is a reality for us now and it guides our life, in matters great and small.

At the core of this reality is trust, that is, the capacity to entrust all that we have and are to the living God and to his Son, raised from the dead.

It is not an accident that the verb “to believe” occurs no fewer than ninety eight times in the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John.

Read the GospelJohn 14:1-12
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.’

 Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use the quietening music again if you wish

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Listen again to the questioning of the two main characters. Try to place yourself in the scene and hear Thomas and then Philip ask the questions. We propose some thoughts below that you might like to use to prompt your reflection.

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

Thomas struggled with the desire, which is in all of us, to know exactly the destination before we set out. Jesus invites us to make an act of faith and to take one step at a time.
Can you recall times when it helped you to take that trusting attitude to life?

Jesus proposed himself to Thomas as the way, the truth and the life.
In what ways has Jesus been the way, the truth and the life for you on your faith journey?

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’

Philip wanted Jesus to give him a glimpse of God and got the surprising answer “whoever has seen me has seen the Father”. Jesus put a human face on the love of God.
Who are the people whose love has helped you to believe in the love of God? To whom have you given an occasional glimpse of the divine?

Finish this part with a Prayer

We have beheld your glory, O God in the face of Christ Jesus, your Son.
Enliven our faith that through Christ we may put our trust in you.
Deepen our faith that in Christ we may serve you.
Complete our faith that one day we may live with you in that place which Christ prepares for us, where he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful

In the Mass, the prayer of the faithful are the people’s response to their reflection on the Scripture readings. The following have been prepared by parishioners for our Masses on this weekend.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life — no one comes to the Father except through me”  In response to our Gospel this day, I endeavour to practice following you in the Way, the Truth and my Life in this world:

By striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life.  …pause… Lord hear us

By accepting suffering rather than inflicting it.  …pause… Lord hear us

By refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence.  …pause…  Lord hear us

By persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart. …pause… Lord hear us

By living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live. …pause…  Lord hear us

By actively resisting evil and working non-violently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth. …pause…  Lord hear us

Now pray for your own intentions: name those intentions you specifically want to mention Lord hear us

For all who have died  ………. name those people you specifically want to remember Lord hear us

You gave us Jesus, the Word made flesh as Mediator, and he has spoken your words to us and called us to follow him. He is the way that leads us to you, the truth that sets us free, the life that fills us with gladness. Amen.

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Use the quietening music one more time, if you wish, to bring your prayer time to a close.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Gospel. – Click Here

The following is a Video Reflection on this portion of the Gospel of John