We all believe that Jesus Christ is, as he told the apostles at the last supper, the way, the truth, and the life. If we didn't believe that we wouldn't be here today. And yet, today the Church is asking us to look into our hearts and ask the question; how firmly do we believe?
I’m sure many of you have seen a tight rope walker at a circus. A tight rope walker walks across a wire that is stretched high in the air. Often times he uses a pole or something similar to assist in balancing him. There was once a tight rope walker who decided that he would walk across Niagara Falls. As the installation of the wire proceeded, a large crowd gathered. Eventually the line was ready and he started to walk across. Instead of using a pole to balance, he rigged a wheel barrow which gave him more stability forward and backward as well as side to side. The crowd watched breathlessly as he made his way across the falls, pushing the wheel barrow in front of him. When he reached the other side the crowd cheered with excitement.
Then he turned to the crowd and asked “do you think I could make it back to the other side?”Overwhelmingly the crowed answered yes. again he asked “do you really believe I could do it?” Many in the crowd answered “we absolutely believe you could do it, we just saw you come across, we know you could make it back.” He turned back to the crowd again and said: “okay then, who ever believes the most in me, get into the wheel barrow and come across with me.”
So many of us know the temporariness of life. we recognize it when a loved one, family member or friend dies. Or perhaps through being part of this parish we can look around and remember the many faces that were with us ten years ago, many of them long since have died. Jesus, through today’s gospel, assures us, just a s he assured the apostles two thousand years ago that there’s more to come. He says: “ and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
Jesus doesn't say that life, for now, is going to be easy but he does say it’s going to be temporary. Sometimes when we go through difficult times it’s a good exercise to think about the temporariness of the hardship and know that an eternal life with Jesus awaits us where hardships and difficulties are no more. Such a view can make the hard times seem insignificant.
Unlike us who have heard over and over the Gospel message, the apostles in today’s gospel were hearing all this amazing stuff for the first time. Even Thomas, being Thomas, was confused so he asked: “ Master, we do not know where you are going, how will we know the way.” Jesus answered Thomas with one of the most profound statements ever made by Jesus in the four Gospels, he said: : I am the way the truth and the life, No one (NO ONE) comes to the Father except through me.”
Our story today is about trust. Our story today is about believing that the best is yet to come. Our story today is about recognizing that there is really only one path, through Jesus
Christ, to eternity in Heaven. Can we trust Jesus enough to get into the wheel barrow and allow him to guide us safely across the deep and dangerous chasm of life? Can we truly let go and let God?