Our relationship with God is a two-way street. This idea is one of the themes that keeps on appearing throughout the Gospel of St. John.
For instance, in today's Gospel selection, we hear Jesus say: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. (John 6:44). I am caught by the interplay between our desire to come to Jesus and the influence of God in drawing me to Jesus. The two actions complement one another. Both are necessary. God's grace gives birth to the desire to draw near to Jesus, but that grace is dependent upon my willingness to allow it to work within me.
Chapter fourteen of the Gospel adds to this notion when Jesus says: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6b) Taken in concert with the statement in chapter six, I begin to see that the relationship between Jesus and the Father is so close that I cannot approach either of them without the other. My desire to come to Jesus is born of God's grace. My desire to participate in that life of God is born of my desire to come to Jesus.
For some this may seem an endless circle; however, it seems to me that these passages illustrate for me how important are my relationships to both God the Father and God the Son. It is impossible to have one without the other. It is clear to me that St. John was beginning to see the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the effects of these relationships in his own life as well as the life of the community. It also speaks to me of how Jesus does the will of the Father by drawing us to God. Again, throughout the Gospel of St. John, we are reminded that Jesus finds fulfillment in doing the will of the One who sent him.
Like most people I tend to take my relationship with God for granted. Our yearly meditation on the Gospel of St. John throughout the Easter Season reminds us of the central place that relationship should hold in our lives.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator