Some professional athletes and other graduates of Ohio State like to emphasize they went to THE Ohio State University—and detractors like ridiculing the emphasis on THE. Definite articles such as “the” make a big difference.
“Ego sum via, veritas, et vita.” These are words found in the apse in St. Peter's in Mansfield. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” These words from today's gospel reading are another one of Jesus' “I AM” statements. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, not simply a way, a truth, a life among many others. Jesus is the way: He is the way to the Father; His name is the only name by which we are saved. Jesus is the truth: He reveals the truth of who the Father is and the truth about who we are supposed to be. Jesus is the life: He is the Author of Life, so apart from Him, we cease to be; separated from Him, we are dead spiritually. Here is where we can proudly proclaim the definite article “the,” for Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life!