“Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief that sustains thought and holds the world together.” ― Søren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, and social critic)
Gospel Text: ( JN 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.”
Sometimes something obvious is right in front of us, but we don’t recognize it. As the adage goes, we can have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees! This was Philip’s problem. After three years with Jesus, he still couldn’t see the Father in the face of this powerful rabbi. He couldn’t see “the image of the invisible God” in him, even though it was right before his eyes (Colossians 1:15)!
Still, who could blame Philip for stating openly what was probably on all the disciples’ minds at the Last Supper? We have all made the same request at one time or another: “Show me the Father.” But Jesus gently admonishes him, saying, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father… . Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” (John 14:9, 10).
It would only be after Philip and the disciples had witnessed the resurrection and received the Spirit at Pentecost that they would be able to see the whole forest and not just a bunch of individual trees. Then they would see that Jesus’ every word and action from his sermons and miracles to his off the cuff acts of kindness and compassion had come from the heart of his Father.
This is the very message that they have passed on to us. As papal preacher Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa once wrote, “If the written word of the Bible could be changed into a spoken word and become one single voice, this voice, more powerful than the roaring of the sea, would cry out: The Father loves you!”
Your Father loves you! He loves you just as much as he loves Philip and James. He doesn’t love you less because you haven’t given your life as an apostle or martyr. He just loves you!