Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Deep down, as faithful Christians, we all have the same desire that the Apostle Philip expresses in today’s Gospel, which is coming from the last supper discourses in the Gospel of John.  We all want to see the Father.  We all want to come to know the Father.  As Christians, we find it very helpful to have reminders, images, and glimpses of the divine in our human experiential realm.  Thus, we have the crucifix in prominent locations in our churches, homes, schools, and communities.  We have icons and statues of the saints surrounding us, in stained glass windows, and even in our cars.  The Sacraments always include matter and form, of which the matter is something tangible, concrete, that which can be sensed and understood.  Jesus, the Christ, is someone we can trust, speak to, and with whom we can develop a relationship because Jesus is human, like us.  Jesus is relatable.  We have an image of Jesus and in a most real way, can touch Jesus in the Eucharist, the eternal sign of His love for us.  However, when it comes to the Father, whom Jesus is always telling us about, we do not have any way to relate to the Father or even to imagine the Father.  So, Philip expresses our deepest desire to Jesus.  “Show us the Father, Lord!”  What does Jesus tell us but,

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…

It was St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians who helped explain this reality even more as he said, “Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”(1,15).  Thus, we have to believe that when we see the works of Jesus, hear the words that Jesus teaches, and feel the presence of Jesus in our lives, these are all the work, action, and love of the Father in the world.  We do know the Father because we believe and are convinced that Jesus is the Christ and that the works of Jesus are the manifestation of the Father’s love in the world today.

April 23rd, 2016