Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter

Do you see the Father?

When we are troubled, especially when existential questions haunt us, we turn to God and religion for refuge. Pain, illness, and misery were the existential questions that troubled Buddha. After much reflection on how to get out of this life gripping trouble, Buddha came up with a remedy. According to him and many of the Hindu schools of thought, the fundamental cause of misery and existential pain is “ahamkara” (ego).  That means, basically human beings think of themselves as independent entities, with their own bodies, achievements, and possessions. Therefore, the solution offered by many of the eastern religions is to live as if we do not have any individual identity. Renounce not only our possessions but everything, including our desires, aspirations, and dreams. It is a life without any worth. Whereas Christian understanding of life, as we learn from Jesus, does not demand renunciation of our independent self, but about how to make the best of our individual selves.

God our creator never wants to leave us purposeless. Our life has a noble purpose, and it is meant for a great fulfilment. Jesus in his farewell discourse told his disciples that there are many rooms in my Father’s house. Jesus is the way to that destiny of our life. Jesus, as someone very dear to us, wants us to make a personal commitment to him. Jesus did not say, “follow what I tell you”, instead he said, “I will personally take you to you to your real home”. Therefore we want to make a personal bonding with Jesus. Jesus being God, our bonding (Communion) with him is also a bonding (communion) with the Father in heaven. When Thomas asked for a clarification about the destination of the human life and the way to achieve it, Jesus did not give him a lecture on the principles and theories about it. Instead, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father except through me”.

Jesus is present to us in Body and Blood when we approach the Eucharistic table for the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharistic fellowship is our tangible way to God’s abode here on earth as well as hereafter. We make sacrifices in our life to strengthen our bond with Christ. For that we don’t need to deny our God given individuality. Suffering is not our worst problem; anything that diminishes the fullness of our life is the real problem. And we should be concerned about it.

Making Jesus as the way of our life, we can do wonders like Jesus. Looking at the transformation all over the world because of the Church’s ministry, we understand the meaning of Jesus’ saying, ‘you will do greater things’ (John 14:12). We as disciples are embodiment of Jesus and we follow his way of the life which is rooted in service. Jesus is the embodiment of the Father in heaven. Therefore, through our service we show the world the true nature of God. Many of the converts to the Church say that they got attracted to Church because they saw extraordinary peace and joy in the lives of the Christians they met. What a joyous and comforting comment to listen!

Your intimacy with Jesus is also your intimacy with God the Father. Jesus said, “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” (John 14:9)