Saturday, April 23, 2016

Reflection: John 14:7-14

Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter – John 14:7-14

This week we have had continuous readings from the Gospel of John. In today’s gospel passage, Jesus is telling his disciples that if they know him, they also know his Father. Jesus then tells them that when they see Him, they also see his Father.

Philip then speaks up and asks Jesus to show them his Father and then they will believe in what Jesus is saying. Jesus is deeply disappointed that Philip cannot or will not trust his word. Philip wanted proof. He needed to see the Father himself. Then, and only then, would he believe. Jesus sharply reprimands Philip. He says to Philip: “you have been with me for a very long time, yet you do not believe what I say?”

Jesus must have been deeply disappointed in Philip and his need for proof. Philip had been with him for a long time but clearly he still did not completely believe or trust Jesus. He wanted to see the proof for himself. What a disappointment this must have been for Jesus. After all their time together, did Philip and the other disciples still not understand who he was? What would it take to for them to believe and understand?

How often do we ask Jesus for proof? At times, we also want Jesus to send us a sign that clearly he is with us! Then we will know. Faith and trust are difficult in our human relationships and perhaps even more so in our relationship with God. We can see, hear and talk with to human beings. We see their facial expressions and their body language. These alone communicate volumes of information to us. However, we cannot see Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit. To believe without proof is difficult for most human beings. Jesus desires that we believe and trust without seeing Him. We can choose to believe in Jesus and trust in his love and care for us, or we can wander through life without an anchor, without anyone greater than ourselves in whom to believe.

Belief and trust in Jesus is challenging, especially during difficult and trying times. At these times, I want and need to have a tangible sense that Jesus is with me.  Every once in awhile, I am given a sign of some sort. However, most times I simply have to trust that Jesus is with me. This is not easy. However, when I am able to trust that Jesus is present with me, then I do have more strength and hope. These gifts of trust, hope and strength enable me to open my mind and heart to “seeing” Jesus!

Today may we ask Jesus to grace us with these gifts.  Most of all, may we trust Jesus to gift us with all we need. Jesus is present with us every moment of every day, always strengthening and gracing us. However, we need to be awake and alert to His presence, Otherwise, we will miss Him!

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