John 14:1-12: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do even greater works than I, because I am going to the Father.”
This section of the Gospel is referred to as the farewell discourse of Jesus on the night of the Last Supper. It is very long and detailed – in many ways, it could be described as the last will and testament of Jesus. Here, Jesus responds to the growing anxiety of his disciples. Their worlds will shortly be thrown into chaos as Jesus’ death looms. He comforts them with the words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” (14:1). Jesus reminds his followers of the fundamental relationship of trust in God. He assures them that he is not abandoning them.
In this passage, the statements Jesus is making are bold and breath-taking: My teachings will guide your feet: My presence will sustain your spirit; Despite all the twists and turns your future path may take, ‘I am the Way.’ The unique Jesus, the only Son of God, goes even further as he declares: ‘Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do… and even greater works.’
Even greater works? How can we possibly do that?
Those of us in the schools, hospitals, agencies and parishes of the archdiocese have a unique opportunity to experience exactly what Jesus implies by this statement. Consider Jesus the Healer: How many more are healed in our Catholic hospitals and care facilities, through our religious orders, and those committed to the welfare of God’s people. How many more have been healed in the life of the church?
Consider Jesus the Teacher: Contemplate all the Christian preachers throughout the centuries…spreading the word of God. Faithful religious across centuries of mission and witness. The young lives and families impacted by the courage and commitment of teachers and staff in our Catholic education communities.
Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whosoever believes in me, trusts in me, gives themselves to me, will do the works that I do: the healing and the teaching and the caring and the reaching out and the loving of our fellow human beings. We too shall do, We too shall forgive, We too shall heal, We too shall be instruments of salvation, We too shall learn how to love, not only our own brothers and sisters – the whole world will know that God exists through the works that we do.