Seeing Jesus in the Gospel of John | An Excerpt from On
The Way to Jesus Christ | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The farewell discourses of Jesus, as the Gospel of John presents them to us, hover in a singular way between time and eternity, between the present hour of the Passion and the new presence of Jesus that is already dawning, because the Passion itself is at the same time his "glorification" as well. On the one hand, the darkness of the betrayal, of the denial, of the abandonment of Jesus to the ultimate ignominy of the Cross weighs upon these discourses; in them, on the other hand, it seems that all of this has already been overcome and resolved into the glory that is to come.
Thus Jesus describes his Passion as a going away that leads to a new and fuller coming–as a state of being-on-the-way with which the disciples are already acquainted. Thereupon Thomas, surprised, asks the question, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus answers with a statement that has become one of the central texts of Christology: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."