Monday, May 3, 2010

"Master, Show Us The Father." "Philip, Whoever Sees Me Has Seen The Father."

Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Reading I
1 Corinthians15:1-8

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received
and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast
to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you
as of first importance
what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared
 to more than five hundred
brothers and sisters at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, he appeared to me,
as to one born unexpectedly.
+++    +++    +++    +++
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day;
and night to night imparts knowledge.
Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
Their message goes out through all the earth.
+++    +++    +++    +++   
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.”
Today’s gospel is part of Jesus’ last discourse to His apostles. Thomas and Philip are distressed by Jesus’ announcement that He will soon leave them. They worry that they will not know what to do without Him. They ask for a clear roadmap. Instead, Jesus gives them a promise—a promise that He is the way, a promise that the Spirit of God will remain with them and be in them (John 14:17).
Jesus’ way has been compassion, healing, acceptance, forgiveness, inclusion, prayer, and endless love. And that is God’s way. Jesus says whoever has seen Him has seen the Father.
How challenging to follow Jesus’ way! As a Christian (another Christ), I am called to reveal the face of God to those who cross my path—those I find lovable and those who I find less so. I should be able to say the same words that Jesus did: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Of course that can happen only through grace and not my efforts alone. And in today’s passage Jesus assures us we can rely on that grace: “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do” (John 14:12).

A favorite retreat leader liked to tell a story from the life of Mother Teresa. She was attending to a dying man with a disagreeable temperament. Each day she bathed him and made him comfortable. He showed no gratitude whatsoever and even spat at her. But in the final moments before his death he looked into her face and said, “Mother Teresa, is your God like you?”

Is your God like you? Will someone see the Father through you today?

Wishing you God’s blessings,
Jean Galanti
St. Monica Parish, Indianapolis

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