The Call, by George Herbert, 1633.
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life :
Such a Way, as gives us breath :
Such a Truth, as ends all strife :
And such a Life, as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength :
Such a Light, as shows a feast :
Such a Feast, as mends in length :
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart :
Such a Joy, as none can move :
Such a Love, as none can part :
Such a Heart, as joyes in love.
An old English poem that references one of the most commonly known quotations in the bible Jn 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life”.
Christ is telling us that He is the end of all evils of this world, He gives us life, heals us, saves us to life eternal. Let us rejoice in that knowledge. Our faith tells us that this life on earth is temporary. Jesus himself tells us that we will face trials on this earth because of our faith. Expecting that faith in the Saving power of Christ will somehow make our lives all rosy is a risky way to live. What happens to our faith when we find ourselves in a situation that is not pleasant? How do we cope when hardships come, when tragedy strikes?
I recently saw an inspiring movie “Father Stu” starring Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, among others. The real Father Stu (played by Mark) went through quite a few hardships, seemingly piling up on each other. From a boxer that was going nowhere fast, despite a winning record, to a condition that forced him to give up boxing, to a failed attempt to get “into the movies” in Hollywood to a horrendous motorcycle accident and finally a degenerative muscle disease that ultimately killed him, the real Stuart Long went from atheist to Catholic Priest, not just despite all these hardships, but because of them. I don’t want to tell you too much. See it if you get the chance. Unfortunately, it’s no longer in theatres so perhaps it’ll be on a streaming service.
We too need to have faith in what Christ tells us when he says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. He is talking about eternal life, eternal truth and the Way to all this. But, here’s the thing: If we are really following the Way, the Truth and the Life, then we will have what it takes to find joy, even in the darkest times. When my Mom died 10 years ago, I found hope in reflecting on her life and joy in thinking of her in Heaven. When my Dad passed the following year I cried again, but I rejoiced at the life he had, the faith he gave me and I started to imagine and believe that I had two parents sitting together in Paradise, praying for me and loving me for eternity.
I have more and more been feeling the call to spread the word that Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” to others whom I meet. This fall, I met a student who had an issue with what I said in lecture. It seemed to conflict with his dad’s version of the universe from an evangelical background. By the end of the meeting over lunch, I prayed over him and he had a renewed vigor to go on, knowing that his dad’s faith was strong, that My faith, de-spite being Catholic, didn’t conflict with his Dad’s faith and that we are all on the Way to life and truth.
This winter, my across-the-street neighbor confided in me last November that she had been spending all her days those past weeks at the intensive care ward with her husband who was dying of congestive heart failure and had a few weeks to live. Cynthia and I prayed over her (Hands on her shoulders), right there on the street, asking for healing for her husband and for herself that she would be able to see the Way, that she would find Joy in the Lord. That was 6 months ago. Now, I regularly see the pair of them walking around the neighborhood. He lost his grim attitude and is always happy and joking. It’s a miracle on earth but more than that, They are on the Way to life eternal again, they have joy, despite his grim condition that may still take him before he wants to go. He is amazed that he is living this “new live”, on “borrowed time”, his words.
How about you? Are you on the Way to Truth and Life? Whom are you telling about this amazing good news (Gospel)? We need to all get out there and start telling everyone who will listen and even those who don’t about our faith, about Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. We need to actively share our faith so that others can come along the Way too. Are you ready to step out in faith and begin again to evangelize the world as Father tells us at the end of each Mass? “Go in peace to Love and Serve the Lord” or “Go in peace, to Spread the Good news to the World”