Monday, May 8, 2017

The Way - May 14, 2017

The Fifth Sunday of Easter - Year A

Jesus Prays With His Disciples. BIBLE SCRIPTURE: John 17:1, "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come;" - I: 
ACTS 6:1-7

Psalm:  33

Reading II: 
1 PT 2:4-9

JN 14:1-12

When Jesus attempts to prepare His disciples for His leaving to go to the Father and prepare a place for them in heaven, the disciples are obviously confused. Jesus tells them that He will come back for them so that they can be with Him. Then - when He tells them that they know the way, Thomas exclaims: “Master, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?”

Jesus, assures them: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
He lets them know that if they live as He lived they are on the
path to heaven. He also tells them that through Him they know the Father. Philip then pleads: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus responds, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who dwells in Me is doing His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.”

Finally, Jesus reassures them: “Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to the Father.”

What a wonderful and patient Savior we have!!! He not only gave His life for the disciples and all of us, he also prepares us for His leaving His earthly state, in the way a good parent would his or her children.

This brings to mind a beautiful Hebrew prayer of Thanksgiving which is recited at the Passover. It is called “Dayenu” which means “It would have sufficed.”  There is a series of statements beginning with: 
Great and numerous are the kindnesses which the Lord has extended toward us. For each of them, we give thanks. Any one would have been enough.

If He had brought us out of Egypt, and not carried out judgements against them - Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

If He had carried out judgements against them, and not against their idols - Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

If He had destroyed their idols, and had not smitten their 
first-born - Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

The prayer goes on listing other blessings from the Lord. It is an excellent model for prayer. I have created my own using the form.

As we prepare to celebrate our mothers on Sunday, the Dayenu Prayer would be a great springboard for a prayer/poem for of each of our mothers, whether in memory of those who have already gone home to the Father or for those are still here with us on earth.

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

La Manera

Cuando Jesús trata de preparar a Sus discípulos para que Él se vaya al Padre y les prepare un lugar en el cielo, los discípulos están obviamente confundidos. Jesús les dice que Él volverá por ellos para que puedan estar con Él. Entonces, cuando les dice que conocen el camino, Thomas exclama: “Maestro, no sabemos a dónde vas; ¿Cómo podemos saber el camino?”

Jesús, les asegura: “Yo soy el camino, y la verdad, y la vida”.
Él les permite saber que si viven como Él vivió están en la
Camino al cielo También les dice que por Él conocen al Padre. Felipe entonces suplica: “Maestro, muéstranos al Padre, y eso será suficiente para nosotros”.

Jesús responde: “El que me ha visto ha visto al Padre. ¿Cómo puedes decir: ‘Enséñanos al Padre’? ¿No creen ustedes que yo estoy en el Padre y que el Padre está en mí? Las palabras que te hablo no hablo por mi cuenta. El Padre que mora en Mí está haciendo Sus obras. Creedme que estoy en el Padre y que el Padre está en Mí, o bien creed por las obras mismas”.

Finalmente, Jesús les asegura: “Amén, amén, os digo,
Todo aquel que cree en Mí hará las obras que yo hago, y hará mayores que éstos, porque yo voy al Padre”.

¡Qué maravilloso y paciente Salvador tenemos! Él no sólo dio Su vida por los discípulos y todos nosotros, sino que también nos prepara para que Él abandone su estado terrenal, de la misma manera que un buen padre o madre de sus hijos.

Esto trae a la mente una hermosa oración hebrea de Acción de Gracias que se recita en la Pascua. Se llama “Dayenu”, que significa “Habría bastado”. Hay una serie de declaraciones
empezando con:
Grandes y numerosas son las bondades que el Señor ha extendido hacia nosotros. Para cada uno de ellos, damos gracias. Cualquiera hubiera sido suficiente.

Si nos hubiese sacado de Egipto, y no hubiera hecho juicios contra ellos, ¡Dayenu, hubiera bastado!

Si hubiera hecho juicios contra ellos, y no Contra sus ídolos - Dayenu, habría bastado!

¡Si hubiera destruido sus ídolos y no hubiera herido a su primer nacido - Dayenu, hubiera bastado!

Mientras nos preparamos para celebrar a nuestras madres el domingo, la oración
del Dayenu sería un gran trampolín para una oración / poema de cada una de nuestras madres, ya sea en memoria de aquellos que ya han ido a casa del Padre o porque todavía están aquí con Nosotros en la tierra.


  1. I have always been directionally challenged. I feel anxious when I need to drive in unfamiliar territory and will always opt to take public transportation if it is available. Even with directions I can be misled. Several weeks ago a family member was hospitalized. The hospital was far from where I lived and I had never been to the area before. I downloaded driving directions from a popular map program, read the instructions several times, and proceeded on my journey. I was beginning to relax as I neared my destination. I made what was to be the final left turn into the parking lot and found myself in the service station area of a 7-11 convenience store! I proceeded to ask customers how I could get to the hospital and after several unsuccessful inquiries one man was able to steer me straight. He found my tale humorous stating that you really can’t trust those directions for accuracy! Honestly, if I can’t trust Google to lead me on the right path, where shall I look for direction?
    So, when Thomas asks, “Master…how can we know the way?” I’m all ears. Praise God that Jesus didn’t pull out a map or suggest a website! Jesus is “The Navigator” we are to follow on the road to Heaven. He is the Way as well as the Traveler who has gone before us. He tells his disciples, and us, that if we live as he lived we are on the right path. Nicholas Cabasilas, a 14th century Byzanne mystic wrote that Jesus, “is the way, and in addition He is the lodging on the way and its destination.” In other words, Jesus is the optimal Destination Planner offering guidance, comfort, and salvation, all in One Person, to all travelers!
    Of course, we have all come to know that there are numerous bumps and potholes along the way. These are the distractions that get us off track. Sometimes we find ourselves confused and questioning if we are heading in the right direction. Is there danger in our path? Just like safe travelers, we need to heed the rules of the road, slow down, look and listen before proceeding. These are the times we need to go to the Lord with a humble, open, loving, and trusting heart and ask Him to lead us back to the right path. We can journey with confidence knowing God will always show us the way.
    “The Lord says, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)
    Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese MW. SBSMay 9, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Thank you, Sister, for the information about the Dayenu form. I, for one, had never been familiar with it. It seems to present a wealth of possibilities. Your samples are certainly inspiring.

    Psalm 33, the Responsorial for this Sunday, expresses joy and trust in the Lord. The following excerpts are from a General Audience by St. Pope John Paul II:

    "Psalm 33, which has 22 verses, the same number as the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, is a hymn of praise to the Lord of the universe and of history. A quiver of joy runs through it from the very first lines: "Rejoice in the Lord, you just! Praise from the upright is fitting. Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to the Lord a new song, play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts." (V V. 1-3).This acclamation is accompanied by music and expresses an interior voice of faith and hope, of joy and trust. The hymn is "new", not only because it renews the certainty of the divine presence within creation and human events, but also because it anticipates the perfect praise that will be intoned on the final day of salvation, when the kingdom of God will have attained its glorious realization."

    "The psalm ends with an antiphon that has become part of the well-known "Te Deum" hymn: "May your kindness always be upon us, Lord, for we have hoped in you" (V. 22). Divine grace and human hope meet and embrace. Indeed, God's loving faithfulness (according to the meaning of the original Hebrew word used here, envelopes, warms and protects us like a mantle, offering serenity and giving our faith and hope a sound foundation.

    St. Pope John Paul II
    General Audience
    August 8, 2001