Jesus reveals He is the way, the truth and the only path to life with the Almighty Father. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Charity so he always attempts to bury the dead with a reverent Catholic funeral and by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided to effectively evangelize non-Catholics.
4th Week of Easter – Friday – Jn 14:1-6
Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) during Holy Week to prepare the Apostles for their mission after His departure. The Apostles are anxious by Jesus’ revelation that He will soon be betrayed and murdered. Aware of the Apostles’ anxiety, Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled”; the Greek word, tarassó, translated as “troubled”, means, “fear, dread, agitated, terrified, affect with great pain”, confirming the Apostles’ severe stress.
Filled with empathy, Jesus strengthens the Apostles’ courage and resolve by giving them several reasons to not be afraid: Jesus reminds them of their deep faith in God the Father, and urges them to have faith in Him; He reminds them that God is their Father, a reassurance of fatherly love that can be trusted, despite the coming turmoil; Jesus reveals that the Father’s house (Heaven) has plenty of room and that He will prepare a place for them in Heaven; He promises to return, bring them to Heaven, and remain with them.
Thomas, failing to understand that Jesus is speaking of His return to Heaven, asks how the Apostles can follow Him if they do not know where Jesus is going. Jesus responds cryptically, saying, “I am the way (the only access to God the Father is the Son), and the truth (the perfect Incarnate Word of the Father) and the life (the only source for eternal life, the salvation of mankind). Jesus reasserts His exclusive power to grant eternal life to men: “no one comes to the Father, but by Me.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be encouraged by how Jesus comforts the Apostles: perfection of Empathy, Jesus recognizes, understands, and reacts to the fear the Apostles are experiencing; Divine Charity, Jesus performs a Spiritual Work of Mercy by Comforting the Apostles; though Jesus does not need the virtue of Hope because the Son is one with God the Father, He recognizes the turmoil and extreme despair the Apostles will soon endure during the Passion, and deliberately strengthens their hope with His explicit promises of their salvation, and their place in Heaven.
Bury the dead with a reverent Catholic funeral
Realize: The Holy Catholic Church includes today’s Gospel in the Funeral Mass to remind and assure faithful Catholics of Jesus’ promise to care for those who believe in Him after they die.
Believe: Reflect upon Catholic Funerals (CCC 1680-1690).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I lovingly help prepare my loved ones for death and strive to fulfill my Catholic duty to Bury the Dead with a reverent Catholic funeral, a Corporal Work of Mercy (CCC 2300).
Be counseled by the Spirit to evangelize non-Catholics
Realize: While men are only saved through Jesus and the fullness of faith resides only in His Holy Catholic Church, the Church teaches that Jesus, though it is clearly not His preference, by His own mysterious and unknowable prerogative, may make exceptions and save some non-Catholics who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church (or Orthodox Church), but who are unstained by mortal sin, fervently love God, and have lived extraordinarily saintly lives; sorrowfully realize those not in communion with the Catholic or Orthodox Church have no access to the forgiveness of mortal sin in the Sacrament of Penance nor the saving help of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Believe: Reflect upon the Salvation of non-Catholics (CCC 836-848).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am guided by You to do my sacred duty (CCC 848) to evangelize those who remain outside of Your One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.