“Then why do you want to know?" - "Because learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do.” ― Umberto Eco: (1932 – 2016: was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, and academic texts)
Gospel Text: (JN 14:7-14)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 Jesus,
“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.”
In our Gospel reading from John today, we are reminded that knowing God, through Jesus, is an invitation of ours. God is not a distant being, but one who is accessible and invites us to an intimate relationship, through his son. Isn’t it evident when a person knows God and knows Jesus intimately? They exude a sort of depth, peace, and compassion that one who lacks that intimacy doesn’t demonstrate. Knowing God, knowing Jesus, or knowing anyone, really, doesn’t mean there’s simply an intellectual understanding, but also a deep, personal experience of the presence of the person.
I believe it’s a little bit like how I know my daughter, who is almost two years old. I can honestly say that I know her well from spending time with her, listening to her, interacting with her, learning how she operates, etc. As her Dad, I know when something’s not right; I know with pretty good accuracy her preferences, too. And, that is not the same as knowing, on an intellectual level, the developmental milestones of a toddler from reading parenting books and articles.
God and Jesus want that same intimacy for us – to know them well and deeply, such as through heartfelt conversation and prayer, receiving the sacraments, by listening.
Let us accept that invitation for intimacy, each day, with more depth and enthusiasm. That will strengthen our resolve to be joyful and filled with the Spirit despite the persecution and hardships of daily life in our Christian faith.