Theme 3: To Look at Jesus as the Way (Archbishop Liborius N Nashenda, OMI)

Whoever looks to him will be saved (cf. Num 21:1-9; Jn 3: 14-15). God has made the way for a
healing at the time of a snake bite pandemic in the book of Exodus. As the serpent is lifted up by
Moses in the desert so also Jesus has been lifted up to be looked at. Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13:8). Whoever will look at him with faith will know that He
is the way to be healed. There is an itinerary of faith. Each one of us, in as much as a human being is
seeking: seeking happiness, seeking love, and seeking a good and full life which God the Father has
given us all in His Son Jesus.
To seek Jesus is to encounter Jesus and that will make one to follow Jesus: this is the way. In the
itinerary of faith the disciples of all times begin with the question Jesus addresses to the two who
would start to follow Him: “What do you seek?” (Jn 1:38). When Thomas did not understand the
way which Jesus was talking about, he openly asked “how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5). It’s the
same question that, on Easter morning, the Risen Lord asks Mary Magdalene who was full of fear
and tears: “Woman, whom do you seek?” (Jn 20:15). If we are clear of what exactly we are seeking
we will find it. “Seek and you will find” (Mt 7:7).
We live in a world of CoVid-19 pandemic where lots of people have lots of questions. When
humanity is faced with an atmosphere of doom and gloom and the predictions as tragic, it raises a
question of the confused Thomas and other disciples. People have lots of questions about God, about
the Human life, their government, their economic system, their education system, their Church, the
community in which they live, and the world at large. They looked to the future and saw the loss of
their Leader and the total disruption of their lives. They knew neither the destination nor the
direction. They couldn’t see the negative view of the hours pass and days to come. They looked
ahead and saw only death, confusion and despair. The internet has a lot of information which allows
for lots of questions and “sometimes” some accurate answers. Some questions are for the gathering
of information. Other questions are more reflective and require thoughtful deliberation before and
after they are proposed. One of such questions is that “what exactly do we seek?” or “how can we
know?”
Thomas’ question, in one form or another, has been on the lips of millions and millions of people
down through the years. Today, as in no other time, Thomas’ question is of the utmost importance.
The national and international economies are dropping, how can I know the way? I’ve lost my job.
How can I know the way? My health is poor and I’m afraid I won’t be able to look after myself. How
can I know the way? My personal and family problems have me at the end of my rope. How can I
know the way? I’ve got a house and a car and all I’ve ever asked for but something’s missing. How
can I know the way? Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). Let’s look at that
answer more closely as we consider our own questions. Jesus is the way! Jesus didn’t come to give
directions on how to find God. He didn’t come to explain meditation techniques or legalistic devices
that would bring a person closer to God. He didn’t point the way to God. He is the way to God. Jesus
is the destination, not the signpost! Christ is the way out of a life of emptiness. He is the way into a
life filled with God’s love, care and forgiveness. He changes our lives now and offers eternal hope
and peace. He says, “Learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest” (Mt 11:29)
and “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn 14:1). Let us learn to
seek him, to look at him. When we encounter him our tears will be made to joy, fears will be made to
courage to face the troubled world. “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who
encounter Jesus” (Evangelii Gaudium 1). Mary Magdalene and the Apostles are the best examples of
troubled characters encountering the Risen Christ and their sorrows turned into joy. “Look to him,
and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed” (Ps 34:5). We have all the unanswered
questions answered in Him. He is the way we must walk.

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