1“Do not let your
hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
2In my Father’s house there are many
dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to
prepare a place for you? 3And if I
go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to
myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
4And you know the way to the place where
I am going.” 5Thomas said to him,
“Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and
the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7If you know me, you will know my Father
also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7
With the month of June, the summer vacation season begins. For many this means travel. One chooses a location to visit, makes arrangements for lodging, and plans the route to take to get to the destination. Usually, a destination is chosen because it has desirable features: beautiful views, entertainment, valuable cultural importance, and so on. Each individual or family has their own set of requirements for the ideal vacation spot. The best trips, though, are those for which the journey is also as entertaining as the final destination.
One hopes that for all of us the one final destination we are planning for is eternal life in heaven. As St, Paul writes: “If for this life only we have hope, we are of all people most to be pitied.” We expect to pass from this life to an even more glorious life in the immediate presence of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are assured of this life to come by Jesus himself who goes ahead of us to prepare a place for us. Where he is we will be also.
We know our destination, now we just need to plan the journey. As with Thomas we ponder, “How can we know the way?” Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Our journey to heaven is understanding the truth of Jesus and living in the way of Jesus. The truth which Jesus reveals is that we are loved by God, forgiven by God, and gifted by God with adoption as daughters and sons. We are made heirs of God's kingdom through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and the glorious resurrection from death. Our destination is an unending life with this loving God and with all those who shared in the love of God in this life.
Living in the way of Jesus will not only lead us to eternal life, but the journey will be nearly as worthwhile as the destination. As we follow the itinerary Jesus has mapped out for us, we will meet others who know the way, the truth, and the life. We will share their joys and ease their sorrows here and now. We will also meet those who have not yet experienced the love which God has for them. It is then that we share the love of God with them. We invite them to join in the journey. We welcome them to enjoy with us a foretaste of that life to come. In all circumstances we welcome the opportunity to do as Jesus did, to love all people, even those who wish to be our enemies.
We know where we are going, and we know the way. Many people vacation at a place that calls itself “The happiest place on earth.” We are going to “The lovingest place anywhere.” So enjoy the journey surrounded by that love that will never end.