Today, the Last Supper Discourse continues and we are treated to such rich images from the Gospel of John. “If you know me then you will also know my Father” (v.7). And, I ask myself the question, is my Father visible through me? Isn’t that my call, to be that channel? That light? Jesus certainly shows us how to cultivate this posture throughout his life on earth. As he says in the previous verse to today’s Gospel, he is the way and the truth and the life (v.6). In seeing Jesus, we see God. The enormous gift—the unbelievable miracle of knowing Jesus allows us to do even greater works than he did. So, how is that going for me, or for you?
I have often thought that my faith would be much stronger if, as Philip says, I could see the Father. How glorious to be present for those Signs and Miracles—then, I would have enough. Yet, Jesus shatters that thinking with his self-emptying love of the Father. That is the way.
Perhaps, we think we already know the way; our way. Our biggest challenge can be our inability to see clearly, like Philip, we can have our own idea of what we are looking for and we can miss the Father. Like the Jews in our first reading, Jesus was simply not what they were expecting and they missed him. How often have I missed the Father in my daily life when I do not have eyes to see, to go where Jesus went?
Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. If there is ever a model to follow, she is it. Her yes, in faith to God, began the path of our salvation and made it possible for the Word to become flesh and “pitch his tent” among us. Can we hear the radical nature of this statement? Is there any doubt that our lives are to follow this pattern? Mary, and her Son, Jesus, our Immaculate Conception and our Incarnation. Today, we honor you.
It is my prayer that we can honor you by living lives of radical hope and radical works. This is not a story about what happened back then; this reaches through time and is happening now and now and now. Can you feel it? Can you hear it?
It is not so complicated, there is no secret formula. It is lived out in ordinary ways and in ordinary lives. Prayer first, then service as a response to the Spirit’s indwelling which we cultivate daily as we allow the will of God in our lives to be supreme. Once that happens—even for a moment—Jesus will answer our every need. Alleluia, alleluia.
Dear Lord, wash me clean of the debris of life, let there be nothing left of me but you.
Jean Bowler is a retreatant at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California, and a member of the Office of Mission Effectiveness Board of Holy Cross Province.