Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
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Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me…I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Do not let your hearts be troubled. That’s easier said than done. After all, look at our world! It’s going to hell! We’re terrified to go out at night. We’re scared to be alone. We’re frightened to go to sporting events, movie theatres, the Mall, etc… How can we not let our hearts be troubled?
Today, as I was approaching one High School classroom, my foot accidently hit the door. It made a loud noise. I could see, from the outside, the teens jump up in fear. The look on their faces spelled TERROR!
“How many ways are there to heaven?” I asked the kids. No answer. To get them to respond, I told them that a journalist, not too long ago, asked Pope Benedict XVI that very same question. I asked them, “What do you think he said?” Somehow or another, I knew that would get them to participate.
One student immediately said, “Only one way.” I was so happy to hear that. It supported my theory that teens can be very judgmental, even though they think they are not.
I then looked at a student I know that thinks they know everything and is very critical of the Church’s teachings. I asked the student what they thought. “Yes, I’m sure that’s what the Pope said.”
“Actually,” I said, “the Pope said something entirely different. When asked ‘How many ways are there to heaven?’ the Pope responded: ‘As many as there are people.’”
The student was shocked. Yes, truth is shocking, especially to those who know very little of it.
The Lord never told his disciples to be nice. He told them to be honest. And to be honest, means to be nice.
Too often I get stuff stuck between my teeth after a meal. I don’t always know it. I definitely didn’t know it on one particularly embarrassing occasion. While I was in conversation with a group of former students, one student came up to me, bent down to my ear and whispered in my ear. He told me that I had some green stuff stuck between my teeth. I was very upset; not at him, but at the others who didn’t bother to say a word! So in front of everyone, I asked them why they didn’t say anything. They told me that they didn’t want to be mean.
The Lord never told his disciples to be liked; He told them to be very loving. By now, we should all know the difference.
There are many ways to get to heaven, as many as there are people. There are many ways to live life as well, but not all lead to happiness. Some actually lead to despair, anger and resentment. Some lead to a dead end.
If you want to climb to the top of Mount Everest, then it would a good idea to take a guide along with you; that is, someone who knows the way. Christ knows the way. I AM the Way.
If you wish to live your life with more than just niceness and kindness, then it would be a good idea to model your life after someone who lived their life authentically. Christ is the Truth. I AM the Truth.
If you wish to live your life to the fullest - not necessarily the longest – but a life full of love, unconditional love, then follow Jesus. I AM the Life.
Do you know the way? There are many roads to heaven, some harder than others. But there is only one sure guide: the one who has been there before: Jesus Christ. Allow Him to be your guide.