by Fr. Ed Liptak, SDB
On 1st May we commemorated St. Joseph the Worker. The first reading of that Mass celebrated God at work as Creator and caregiver. The Gospel celebrated the Holy Family, Joseph at work caring for his family, Mary, Mother in a working household, Jesus as the Carpenter’s Son. Very likely, Joseph’s ancestry went way back to those families who chose far northern Palestine to settle on returning from exile. What immigrant family has ever succeeded without hard work?
This 5th Sunday of Easter almost a week later, Jesus the Carpenter’s Son is getting ready to go to work and finish the task his heavenly Father gave him to do. He is at the Last Supper surrounded by his fellow workers for our salvation and is about to set the seal of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection on all He has said and done. Earlier in the Scriptures, challenged for working a cure on the Sabbath, He had proclaimed, “Even now my Father works and I work” (Jn 5:17). ‘Now,’ In today’s Gospel it is time for the supreme work of salvation. The Christian Passover sacrifice of the Lamb must begin.
Now it is disciples of Jesus who are troubled. They sense impending disaster, but Jesus begs them to have faith in him as they have faith in God. He goes to prepare a place for them in God’s mansions. He will return he says, for He wants them to be where He is, and they already know the way. Challenged by Philip, Jesus utters one of his memorable sayings, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” Still now, anyone who wants to be saved and to go to rest in God must do so by knowing and practicing the Way taught by Jesus. Indeed, He IS the Way by whom we must live and follow.
Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in him. What those who follow Jesus must know is that the Father speaks through Jesus, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” Jesus does the work of his Father. He does the Father’s will. His Will is our Salvation. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.