Jesus represents the human face of God — and how much God loves us, says Missouri priest


“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

This Bible verse comes from the Gospel of John, one of the four gospel narratives in the New Testament. While the exact authorship of this gospel is unknown, it is most commonly attributed to the Apostle John, says the website Catholic Answers. 

“The path to God can seem lonely. We do not always know how our friends and family will react as we try to live our faith in concrete ways,” Fr. David Paternostro, SJ, told Fox News Digital. 

Paternostro is a Jesuit priest, doctoral student in philosophy and chaplain at the Catholic Studies Center at St. Louis University in Missouri.  

In addition to pushback from family in friends, there may be other issues that keep someone from God that cannot be easily shared, said Paternostro. 

“And the lonelier the path to God seems, the less sure we may be that we will ever be able to take this path,” he said. 

“We look at ourselves and we know that we have made mistakes in the past, and that we are nowhere near strong enough to walk the path to God,” he also said. 

“The path to God can seem necessary and impossible at the exact same time.”

Although this path may seem to be impossible, noted Paternostro, this means that a person is able to draw strength from the words of Jesus Christ — namely, “I am the way.” 

“In the end, to be with God is to love God above all others.”

He added, “This statement can also seem confusing: People are different from pathways. What does this mean for Jesus to say that he himself is the way to God?”

Said the priest, “In the end, to be with God is to love God above all others.” 

He noted that the goal of Christian life is “to learn how to love God with our whole hearts, so that when we meet God upon our deaths, we will be overjoyed to see Him.”

This path, he said, “is the process of learning to love God.” 

He also said, “If learning to love God is the way to God, it makes sense to say that Jesus is the way.”

As a person encounters Jesus, he or she is seeing the human face of God, said Paternostro. 

“We meet God in a manner we can fall in love with,” he said. 

“We meet God in a lovable way.” 

He also said, “In Jesus, we see God in a way we can love, and we see in human terms the depths of God’s love for us,” he added.

Seeing God’s humanity “inspires even more love from us, and the process of love deepens.” 

He said, “Loving Jesus is our one path to union with the Father, and so Jesus is the way.” 

With Jesus’ declaration that he is “the way, the truth and the life,” this means that “our worries of loneliness and weakness are over,” said Paternostro.

“Our way to the Father is the person of the son, and so our way is constantly walking with us, loving us, and supporting us as we make our journeys,” he said.

“Our way is a person — and so we are never alone as we draw close to God.”