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By Most Rev. Bishop Kenneth Povish

Where Are You Going?

Stay on the Road through life

If ever in history there was a people “on the move,” it’s Americans. In pickups and vans, in SUVs and RVs, not to mention coupes and sedans, we are always going somewhere. Besides everyday locomotion, there are the moves that mark our progress in life – graduations, entry into the world of work, weddings that move us from single bliss into married life, job transfers, and retirements, to name the big ones.

In 1905, Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel Quo Vadis?, a story of Roman society under Nero. The title means “Where are you going?” in English. It recalls the legend about the Apostle Peter trying to escape Nero’s persecution by fleeing from Rome. He meets Jesus on the road, and the Lord asks Peter, “Quo vadis?” This leads Peter to return to the city to strengthen the faith of the martyrs and to die with them for the faith.

This novel asks the most important question that can be asked of people on the move. In daily life and in the extraordinary events of our lives we have to know where we are going. Where are you going? And, do you know how to get there?

The life of faith has aptly been called a religious journey. The Epistle to the Hebrews 11:13, for example, and also the First Epistle of St. Peter 2:11, call us “strangers and pilgrims.” The prayers of the Roman liturgy often refer to our being on a journey and ask the Lord’s grace and guidance for it. It all comes down to the importance of knowing where we are going and how to get there.

A favorite Scripture for me has always been the “I am” passage recorded in John 14:5-6. It’s at the Last Supper, Jesus is saying goodbye to the eleven at the table, and he tells them they will be following him to where he is going: “Thomas said to him, ‘Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

If you know where you are going, the way to get there is Jesus Christ. The word “way” in John 14:6 does not mean the manner or method of doing something, like “This is the way we brush our teeth.” It means “way” in the sense of roadway, highway or throughway. Jesus Christ is the Road! On the journey through life, our pilgrimage to the Father, stay close to Jesus, keep your eyes fixed on him, follow his example, keep the gospel working in your life.

Jesus is the Road!