May 15 (Jn 12:44-50)

“I keep six honest serving-men…

They taught me all I knew;

Their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who”

– Words of the author, Rudyard Kipling who is famous for his book, “The Jungle Book”

This concept of 5W’s and 1H – What, Why, When, Where, Who and How – is extensively used in journalism, especially while writing a factual news story.

It is said that one of the classical methods in writing the opening paragraph of a news story should contain answers to, as far as possible, all these 5W’s and 1H.

The Gospel of the Day presents St John presenting a ‘Recapitulation Passage’ on Jesus.

This passage gives a neat answer in tune with the concept of 5W’s and 1H…

• WHO Jesus is?

• WHAT did Jesus do?

• WHY did Jesus come?

• WHERE did Jesus come?

• WHEN did Jesus come to be?

• HOW did Jesus come?

1. Who Jesus is?

St John presents Jesus as ‘the Saviour of the World’: “… for I do not come to condemn the world, but to save the world” (Jn 12: 47b)

Jesus is not the one who condemns or denounces or reviles a person…

Instead He is the One who saves, the One who redeems and the One who atones.

• Have I accepted Jesus as the Saviour of my life…

… or is He just some great teacher or just a wonderful philosopher or even just a great Man?

• Do I grow in my conviction that the “WHO” of Jesus primarily consists in Him wanting to save me from my sin, and wanting me to lead a holy and sanctified life, so that I can belong to Him completely?

2. What did Jesus do?

St John presents Jesus as ‘speaking the Word of Life’: ”Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge Him; the word that I spoke, will condemn him… “(Jn 12: 48)

Jesus, the Eternal Word, spoke His words which guarantees life, and life in abundance (Jn 10:10b)

That is why St Peter confessed to Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6: 68)

• Am I keen in listening to the words of Jesus, that He speaks to me,especially through His Holy Word in the Bible?

• Do I seek to live and base my life on these Words and teachings that the Lord speaks to me?

3. Why did Jesus come?

St John presents Jesus coming ‘to lead from the darkness of death to the light of eternal life’: “I came… so that everyone who believes in me, might not remain in darkness; … His commandment is eternal life” (Jn12: 46, 50)

The Lord, who is the light of the World, came to the world so that all may share in His Life, His Eternal Life.

• Am I fixated in the mundane pleasures and transitory luxuries of the world, and giving no heed to the spiritual side of my life?

• Do I orient my life towards to the higher aspects of life, gazing heavenward, and preparing my spiritual life to be worthy of eternal life?

4. Where did Jesus come?

St John presents Jesus as ‘coming to this world’: “.. I come into the world…” (Jn 12: 46)

This is a significant lesson that we are taught: that Jesus came into this world.

He came to sanctify and redeem our world.

In Incarnation, Jesus descends to our world… sinful, corrupt and prone to evil tendencies.

He does not abandon this world…

He does not give up on any of us…

He does not forsake us in our misery…

• Do I make space for Jesus to enter into my world, even if I am aware that I am sinful or prone to bad habits or constantly falling into failures?

• Am I willing to accept the transformations that will be demanded of me, when Jesus descends into the realms of my life, and exhorts me to be walking with Him on His way of the Cross?

5. When did Jesus come to be?

St John presents Jesus as ‘existing with the Father, from eternity’: “… and whoever sees Me, sees the One who sent ME; .. I say as the Father told Me” (Jn 12: 45, 50b)

Jesus, the Son, is the visible image of God, the Father.

With the Father, He has existed from all ages, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

He is the Lord who is unchanging.

He is the Lord who is all-knowing and all-loving.

He is the Lord who has the complete control over my life.

• Do I possess the faith to be firm in my trust in the Holy Providence, knowing the Jesus knows everything, especially in my moments of hardships and trials?

• Am I reflecting the image of God in my life, just as Jesus reflected the image of His Heavenly Father, knowing that this is possibly only by being in close union with the Lord, in devotion and discipleship?

6. How did Jesus come?

St John presents Jesus as ‘coming as the light to the world’: ” I come into the world as light… ” (Jn 12: 46)

Jesus came to the darkness of our world, by being the Light.

All His teachings radiate with truth

All His deeds shine with holiness

• Do I be firm in my principles and values to hold on to the teachings and commandments that the Lord, lovingly invites me to live?

• Am I courageous to be the shining light even when many forces of darkness around me, try to put off this holy radiance of the Lord?

Let us seek to live a life that is intimately more connected to the Lord…

… so that these 5W’s and 1H of the Life of Christ may have a deeper and a transformative effect in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Have Jesus always for your patron, His Cross for a mast on which you must spread your resolutions as a sail. Your anchor shall be a profound confidence in Him, and you shall sail prosperously.”


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