Believe and Achieve Greatness

John 14: 6-14
1 Cor 15:1-8 / Ps 19

Truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
(John 14:13)

What great deed must be accomplished
That I may reach my life-long goal?
May this life not be extinguished
Before I save at least one soul.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:6-14)

Reflection

How can any man ever do any work greater than what our Lord Jesus had done by just believing in Him? Surely our Savior must have been exaggerating? These words of our Lord have puzzled me just as much as the apostles in this Gospel passage must have been as confused when their Master told them, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”

After some reflection, I came to realize that Jesus’ words really applied to all His great apostles, martyrs and saints who had put Him in the center of their lives. While none of them ever performed the miracles that Jesus did, or spoke the words of wisdom that only God could speak, most of them converted more people than Jesus did, travelled farther and covered more countries, and lived longer in their vocation than our Lord, whose ministry lasted for only three years because He had “to go to His Father.” St. Peter, the foremost of Jesus’ apostles, converted three thousand in his first speech by the power of the Holy Spirit right after Pentecost. St. Paul covered thousands of miles in all his travels, establishing churches and Christian communities in more than a dozen countries, and converting thousands of Jews and Gentiles alike to the Christian faith. Throughout the ages of Church history, our faith has been continually nurtured by the works and writings of great men and women who dedicated their lives to Jesus. From the first apostles and the Gospel writers, to other prominent saints like St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ignatius de Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, St. Theresa de Avila, up to the modern saints like Padre Pio and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the list of Jesus’ followers who have performed “greater works than these” is endless.

Great works are waiting to be accomplished for all who believe in Jesus and are open to the prodding of the Holy Spirit. The greatest victory that we can accomplish for the Lord is to bring another soul other than our own to His great mercy. May all of us who have come to believe in Him aspire to this end.

Lord, may we continue to hand over to others what we have received from You, and never tire in striving to be like Your saints, winning souls for Your kingdom. Amen.

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