Fifth Sunday of Easter
"Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves." (Jn. 14:1-12)
As we enter the month of May, I associate it with celebrations and new beginnings. In academic settings, the month of May marks the conclusion of a semester and an academic year leading to commencements and celebrations. For students at all educational levels, this time of year can bring a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The excitement results from the long hours spent learning topics, studying, completing assignments, and reaching the end of a longtime goal. On the other hand, anxiety can come because graduation marks the end of a journey and uncertainty may exist about what is on the horizon. Similar feelings of excitement and anxiety can be apparent as Catholic children prepare for their First Holy Communion and adolescents prepare for Confirmation during the month of May.
In the gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, similar parallels exist between the feelings of the disciples and any person who embarks on a new opportunity. In the gospel reading, Jesus informs the disciples of his impending physical departure from this earth. As Jesus informs the disciples of this, the disciples ask him questions. The questions from Thomas and Philip can remind us of the questions that we may ask as we prepare for a transition. Jesus being the mentor and teacher, provides the disciples with gentle reminders of what he has taught them.
In verse eleven, Jesus states the following: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.” When I think of this verse, especially the end of this verse, my mind goes to the opening lyrics of the gospel song “I’ve Got a Testimony” by Rev. Clay Evans. In the first verse of this song, the songwriter reflects over his life and realizes that God has blessed him. As a result of God blessing him, he has a testimony. By Combining the song with this verse, Jesus is telling us to remember the different ways that God has shown up in our lives leading us to the present.
For me, I remember how God brought me through a serious health challenge. While I was going through the health challenge, God protected me from unseen dangers and provided an opportunity for me to have the support of my family and medical personnel during the most challenging aspects. With the support of family, medical personnel, friends and mentors, I was able to heal. Through my support system, that God provided, I was able to pivot in a new direction with my career in a way that is a healthy fit for me. While this is my testimony, many of us have a testimony that shows how God has worked things out in our lives. Because of the works that God has done in our lives, we can keep the lyrics to the song “Great Work” by Brian Courtney Willson: “God is doing a Great Work, Great Work, Great Work in Me”
Author: Patrick Rogers, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California-Davis
B.S. Chemistry, Howard University
Church: St. Augustine Catholic Church Washington, DC