(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)
The ancients certainly had a much more difficult time with local motion than we do today. (Imagine the world today if Caesar had owned a fleet of pavers and graders). Nonetheless, we can all appreciate the benefits of a roadway. It gets us from one place to another. How is Christ the way? “No one comes to the Father except through me.” If we want to return to the source of our creation, we may only do so through Christ.
The truth – the fact – the precision: what is the purpose of the truth? Truth is the mind conforming to reality, therefore, without it we cannot know where we are going or what we are doing on the road. By knowing the truth, we can confidently hasten down the road. We've all experienced being lost on the road and the feeling of desolation and fear. You don't know where you are or where you will end up. How is Christ the truth? “If you know me you will know the Father.” The truth is like having a GPS in the car – you never get lost, never fear for where you are headed, and always know when to turn. Following the truth is the same – you never get confused about what to do, never fear that you are doing the right thing, and know what decision is correct.
The life – breath – strength: what is the purpose of life? To provide one the time and space to travel the way. To refuel and replenish the necessary spiritual and bodily resources that are exhausted as we travel down the road. Just as a traveler must pause along the freeway for the occasional Big Gulp and bag of Doritos, so to do we need to reload on the long journey that is life. How is Christ the life? “This is my body…this is my blood.” He gives us all we need, most especially Himself in the Most Holy Eucharist. Occasionally, because the road can be arduous, hebetude can creep in and leave us wanting to stop. We can't allow ourselves to get wearied by the duration of the trip, which is precisely why He provides for our needs along the way.
You want to know where to go? He is the way. You want to know how to get there? He is the truth. You want to have the strength and determination to make it? He is the life. This gospel passage ends with Christ saying, “I am going to the Father.” All we need to do is lift our feet and follow, fearing nothing, and He will lead us to the only place truly worth going – to the Father.