Below you will find reflections and prayers for every day of this Fifth Week of Easter. This week we will reflect on just one verse from the Gospel for Sunday. If you are picking up these reflections after Sunday you may like to read Sundays reflection first.

John, in his Gospel, has a number of key words which he uses over and over again. These words are like signposts, pointing us to a deeper meaning about who Jesus is, and what it means to trust him. In our Gospel for this Sunday we find three of these words linked together. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” We might think we know what the words way, truth and life mean but there is more to them than meets the eye. This week we will spend two days on each of them but we begin with what comes before them. “Jesus said, I am… the way…

Sunday / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday

Sunday
Seven times in this Gospel, Jesus uses this phrase “I am” followed by a word such as light, bread, vine. We had another one last week. “I am the gate of the sheepfold”. You might be able to remember some of the others yourself. These two little words “I am” — it is one word in Hebrew — are central to knowing who Jesus is. It was a word so sacred that it must not be spoken. Why? Because this is the very name of God. When Moses asked God at the burning bush, “What is your name?” this was the answer God gave him: “I am.” To take hold of this name and apply it to yourself was unthinkable and, in the eyes of the Jewish authorities, unforgivable. It was blasphemy at its most extreme. But this is exactly what Jesus does. In other words, by saying “I am” he claims he is equal to God. No wonder the powers that be wanted to destroy him. Furthermore, if you know your English grammar, you’ll know that a name is a noun, a naming word. But “I am” is a verb. It’s a doing word. And that tells us something very important about God. God’s very nature is active. This is a God who does things.

Ponder: What has God done for you? You might like to look back over the past week or so and reflect on how God has been active in your situation. (Take your time over this)

Pray: thank God for his active presence in your own life.

Pray: for all those who feel alone at this time.

You might like to say this prayer every day this week.

Prayer for the week

O Jesus, I have promised
  To serve you to the end;
Be now forever near me,
  My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
  If you are by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
  If you will be my Guide.

Monday
Jesus 
said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Way – part 1)

If you are dithering about what film to watch during lockdown take a look at “The Way” starring Michael Sheen. It is the story of one man and his journey to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. As the story unfolds, we discover it is both a physical and a spiritual pilgrimage which he makes as he walks the Camino – the Way. Any pilgrimage is about two things. It is about the journey and what happens on it and the destination. When Jesus says he is the Way he is saying that he himself is both the path and the destination. One way of trying to imagine this is to think about going somewhere by car or train. You can only get to the destination because you are in the car or in the train. We are “in Christ” on our faith journey. That means we are not just on the way but within the Way.

Ponder: How close do you feel the Lord is to you? (Take your time over this)

Pray: Speak to God about this, whether it is that you feel that he is close or far away.

Pray: For those who are sick at this time that they may know the closeness of the Lord with them.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

Tuesday
Jesus 
said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Way – part 2)

Those travelling the pilgrimage route to Compostela are guided on their way by a sign:

These signs are everywhere along the Way. They point towards the final destination. Jesus is the Way but he is also our destination. Our destination is to live completely in God. We know a little bit about what this will be like because we get occasional glimpses and experiences in the here and now but to know it completely will be when we reach our final homeland. Then we shall be fully “in Christ”.

Ponder:  What do you long for in your life of faith? What do you think heaven will be like? (take your time over this)

Pray: That the Lord will be your Way for today and that he will guide you to your destination.

Pray: For those who have no hope or who feel they have no signpost to live by.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

Wednesday
Jesus 
said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Truth – part 1)

We can probably all recall times when, as a child a desperate parent or grandparent, knowing full well we were not telling the truth, looked us straight in the eye and said, “Don’t you lie to me”!  Usually, when we think of the word “truth” this is what we think of. The truth is the opposite of a lie. When Jesus calls himself the truth, he is using this word to express at least two things. One is the idea of dependability. Lies cannot be trusted. We only say something is true if we think it is steadfast and trustworthy.  Jesus is the Truth incarnate so if anyone can be trusted, he can.

Ponder: Sunday’s Gospel begins with Jesus saying, “Trust in God still, and trust in me”. So how trustworthy do you think Jesus is? Are there any reservations for you about this? How is trusting in the one who is true seen in the way you live? (take your time over this)

Pray: Imagine Jesus saying to you, “trust in me. He uses your name “(name)… trust in me” What do you say in response?

Pray: for all those who find it hard to trust others.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

Thursday
Jesus 
said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Truth – part 2)

If Jesus is the truth, the one we can rely on because truth is dependable and steadfast, what difference does this make to the way we live our lives? Dependence is sometimes seen as a lack of something. There is a belief around that we should be able to cope on our own. In fact, the opposite is true. To have someone else to depend on gives us a sense of being grounded, of being supported and of not being on our own. It strengthens us. In this sense trusting in another offers us the opportunity to live in the knowledge that we are loved and cared for. That gives us great freedom. That is why Jesus says elsewhere, “The truth will set you free.” We can know this freedom because we live in Christ who is utterly trustworthy and will never let us down.

Ponder: Who in your life are the ones you depend on? In what way do they set you free to be who you really are? (take your time over this)

Pray: thank God for these people, and thank God for his dependability.

Pray: for those depending on the care of doctors, nurses, medical staff and care workers during this pandemic.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

Friday
Jesus 
said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Life – part 1)

One of the central themes in the Gospel of John is that Jesus came to bring life. We find it in chapter one. “All that came to be had life in him”, and it occurs again and again throughout the Gospel. For John, those who trust in Jesus receive this life and the whole Gospel is a plea that those who read and hear these accounts of Jesus will respond so that life may be theirs. Our God is a life-giving God, both in terms of giving us physical life and also in giving us an inner life; a life that can be lived in all its fullness if we choose to accept it. He creates this life in us and it is pure gift.

Ponder: What energises you? What gives you a real sense of life? What might God be saying to you through this gift?

Pray: Find something (perhaps from a garden or park) which speaks to you of new life. Sit with it for a while.

Pray: for those who are finding the current social distancing hard and feel cut off from life.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

Saturday
Jesus
 said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Life – part 2)

Living life to the full is what God wants for us. So how does that happen? It’s a two-way process. On the one hand Jesus, the life, comes to us to invite us into that life. On the other hand, those who wish to have that life are asked to believe in him and come to him so that his life dwells within. We cannot have one without the other. Just as we saw we are within the way and within the truth which can be depended on and sets us free, so we are within the life offered, accepted and given to us. He invites us to share in his life but it is an invitation offered to us each and every day, which we may, or may not, accept.

Ponder: How are you receiving God’s indwelling life at this time? Is there anything preventing you accepting God’s offer of life in its fullness? (take your time over this)

Pray: Try and sit for a few minutes in silence imagining Jesus pouring his life into you.

Pray: For the dying and those who are with them at the end of their earthly life. You might like to remember your own loved ones who have died and ask the Lord to grant them the fullness of life in his Kingdom.

You may like to say the prayer for the week

5th Sunday of Easter
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