Fifth Sunday of Easter


By Emily VanBerkum

I find it very interesting and relatable that even after Jesus’ resurrection, his disciples continue to ask clarifying questions. Thomas asks for clarity on how to remain a follower of Christ since it was unclear where Jesus was going. In a documentary on Christology, Bishop Barron commented that some religious leaders or spiritual gurus throughout history have directed their followers’ attention to a method, theory, or way of living. Jesus Christ drew followers to himself saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The Gospels are full of stories in which we have plenty of evidence that Jesus spoke and acted in “the very person of God.” Jesus did not simply offer followers a spiritual methodology, he gave of himself as the embodiment of the way to God directly- as the very wellspring through which God’s own love and compassion, power and awe flow.

Still confused, Philip asks to see the Father. Even after witnessing great miracles, and participating in Jesus’ earthly ministry, Philip demands that Jesus show him the very source of his authority. Jesus simply replies “believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” I cannot really fault Thomas. It is very human to want proof. Also, theologians have wrestled with Christ’s divine Sonship for centuries. However, in this passage, Jesus asserts that- as God- His works speak for themselves and that, incredibly “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”

In this statement, Jesus effectively answers both Thomas and Philip. By the power of the resurrection, believers in Christ were granted a permanent relationship and that modeling Christ as the Way is a sign of our own participation in God’s words and works on earth.

Sunday’s Readings:

Acts 6.1-7 1

Peter 2.4-9

John 14.1-12