Gospel according to John (14:6-14)
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? 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 speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Opening Prayer: Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life. Whenever I am lost, help me come back to your way. Whenever I am confused, help me find your truth. When I am confronted with death, help me remember that you are my everlasting life.
Encountering Christ: When you are in a relationship and really care for someone it’s important to know them. Learn to know their likes and dislikes; their preference in types of food; if they like to read or walk; even down to what their favorite colors are. I go through periods of frustration when my own wife, married for 36 years, dated for 9 years prior to that; and she will ask me how I would like my eggs? SCRAMBLED I would say in frustration, it’s been that way for 45 years. I wonder does she really know me?
Do we really know Our Lord? Do we deeply understand him? We all go to church regularly; we all pray regularly; and we all say that we believe. But do we really know Him? If we really believe and have seen the Father, then we will do as He has asks us. Today’s scripture says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do”.
My earthly father and I are very close. He is the one who taught me, trained me, and showed me what’s good. He and I do everything together even up to this day. He taught me how to fish and we’ve been doing it for 50 years together. I know my earthly father and now I have become him including the times when words come out of my mouth and then I think, “I sound like my Dad”!
Jesus did, indeed, spend much time with His disciples. They stayed together, ate together, traveled together, laughed together, and spent much time talking with each other. Therefore, Jesus’ comments to Philip stemmed from His real and lived personal relationship with Philip.
Take the first part of that statement to begin with. “Have I been with you so long…” Imagine Jesus saying this to you. Is this something He would be able to say to you? Is it true that you do spend much time with Him? Do you spend time reading the Gospels, speaking to Him from the depths of your heart, conversing with Him, praying to Him, and listening to His gentle voice?
But Jesus goes on: “…and you still do not know me…?” This is a humble truth that is important to admit. It is true that even those who have a very deep and transforming life of prayer do not know our Lord deeply enough. There is no limit to the transformation that can take place in our lives when we know Jesus personally.
Jesus’ statement goes on: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” So the next question is this: “Do you know the Father?” Do you know the Father’s love, His care for you, His perfect will? Though the Father and the Son are united as one God, They are still distinct Persons, and we must, therefore, work to establish a relationship of love with each one of them.
As initially mentioned, the comments from Jesus are a gentle rebuke of love to Philip, and He wants to speak this same gentle rebuke to you. But it’s a rebuke of love meant to encourage you to get to know Him better. It’s an invitation to personalize your relationship with Jesus and the Father in a real and concrete way. Do you know Him? Do you know the Son of God? Do you know the Father in Heaven? Do we really know how he likes His eggs prepared?
Closing Prayer: My divine and personal Lord, I thank You for Your perfect love and pray that I may open myself to that love more fully each and every day. Saints Philip and James, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Action of the Day: Reflect upon these loving questions of our Lord as if they were spoken to you. Let His words encourage you to get to know Him more deeply. Pray for your relationship to become more personal and transforming. And as you get to know our Lord more intimately, know that it is also the Father in Heaven Whom you are getting to know.