Jesus: the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Earlier this month, a Co-Worker of ours in Toronto shared with us this story: LouLou, who is three years old, came for the first time to visit a Nativity scene at the parish. Loulou’s grandmother gently pointed out each figure in the scene. “Look, there is Mother Mary… and there is Joseph… and there is Baby Jesus lying in the manger!”

Loulou looked very puzzled as she gazed at each figure in turn and said, “But where is the way? I don’t see the way!” Grandma was now the one puzzled and said, “What do you mean, ‘the way’?” Loulou emphatically repeated, “The way! The way in the manger!” Baffled, the grandmother stared at her and the manger scene. Finally, Loulou matter-of-factly responded, “You know, A way in a manger!”

We all laughed at the story, but there was certainly a profound truth in Loulou’s question, even if she was a little confused. She was looking for the Way, Jesus Himself. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the One each of us yearns for and searches for, even if we don’t even realize it.

God made each of our hearts for Himself. We see this over and over again in the women we are privileged to serve, and we even see it in ourselves – a desire for infinite love. It is as though we have a God-sized hole within our hearts that only He can fill. The desire within us is so strong – to know and be known, to love and be loved- and yet how often do we settle for something less than what we deserve? We all know the experience of disappointment and emptiness that comes after we try to satiate our infinite desires with something, or someone, less than God.

In the mystery of the Incarnation, God reveals to us His unfathomable goodness and mercy. He allows Himself to be found, to be known, to be vulnerable and weak and to share in our human condition. In the person of Jesus, God tells each one of us, “You are worth everything.”

What a tremendous, hopeful gift to us – Jesus can be found! He, in fact, seeks us out, and reveals Himself to us the moment we open our hearts to Him. He, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the answer to all the longings of our hearts, desires to be close to us, to know our joys and sorrows, to share with us the secret of His love. As Catholics, we know He can be found in the Eucharist and in all of the sacraments of the Church.

Here, at the beginning of a new calendar (and liturgical) year, we often make resolutions, ways we hope to change our lives, to grow and ultimately to find greater happiness. But let us instead confidently approach the true Way, to fulfill our deepest desires for love, for joy, for true peace of heart, and for freedom.