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Last Supper discourse

Gospel Reading: Jn 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, 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. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”

The Gospel helps us rekindle our Easter experience by bringing us one step farther backwards – not to the empty tomb but to the upper room where Jesus broke bread with his Apostles on the night before he would die.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus admonishes the Twelve. He has spoken to them about his impending death, the denial of Peter, and the betrayal of another Apostle. This triple bad news spreads across the table like poison.

One wonders how the Apostles manage to finish their meal.

In the face of the ominous storm, Jesus promises them the certitude of his abiding care and protection. He speaks to them about “dwelling places” in his Father’s house, and he is departing to prepare a place for everyone. Jesus’ deepest desire is to take us to himself, “so that where I am you also may be.”

Among the Twelve, only Thomas breaks the silence. He asks how he can actually get there. Faced with such a precarious situation, Thomas receives Jesus’ resolute reply: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The Apostle does not get any road map. The only guide given by Jesus is himself.

Thomas’ courage emboldens Philip who makes a forthright and simple request: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” In his reply, Jesus reveals his deep intimacy and unique relationship with the heavenly Father. The Father no longer hides any secret from men and women and has in fact revealed himself fully in the person of Jesus Christ. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.