1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
you are distant and unknown, and yet so near
that You know and love and save us
through Your Son Jesus Christ.
May He be present in us and in our actions
that we may do the same works
of justice, truth and loving service
and thus become the sign to the world
that Your Son is alive
and that You are a saving God
now and for ever.
2) Gospel Reading - John 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."
• John 14:7: To know Jesus is to know the Father. The text of today’s Gospel is the continuation from yesterday. Thomas had asked: “Lord we do not know where You are going, how can we know the way?” Jesus answers: “I am the Way, I am Truth and Life! No one can come to the Father except through Me.” And He adds: “If you know Me, you will know the Father too. From this moment you know Him and have seen Him”. This is the first phrase of today’s Gospel. Jesus always speaks of the Father, because it was the life of the Father which appeared in all that He said and did. This constant reference to the Father provokes Philip’s question.
• John 14:8-11: Philip asks: “Lord, show us the Father and then we will be satisfied!” This was the desire of the disciples, the desire of many in the communities of the beloved disciple and it is the desire of many people today: What do people do to see the Father whom Jesus speaks so much? The response of Jesus is very beautiful and is valid even now: “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know Me! Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father!” People should not think that God is far away from us, distant and unknown. Anyone who wants to know who God the Father is, it suffices that he look at Jesus. He has revealed Him in His words and the actions of His life! “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me!” Through His obedience, Jesus identified Himself totally with the Father. At every moment He did what the Father asked Him to do (Jn 5:30; 8:28-29.38). This is why, in Jesus, everything is a revelation of the Father! And the signs and works are the works of the Father! As people say: “The son is the face of the father!” This is why in Jesus, and for Jesus, God is in our midst.
• John 14:12-14: The Promise of Jesus. Jesus makes a promise to say that His intimacy with the Father is not His privilege only, but that it is possible for all those who believe in Him. We also, through Jesus, can succeed in doing beautiful things for others as Jesus did for the people of His time. He intercedes for us. Everything that people ask Him for; He asks the Father and always obtains it, as long as it is to render service. Jesus is our advocate. He defends us. He leaves but He does not leave us defenseless. He promises that He will ask the Father and the Father will send another advocate or consoler, the Holy Spirit. Jesus even says that it is necessary for Him to leave, because otherwise the Holy Spirit will not be able to come (Jn 16:7). And the Holy Spirit will fulfill the things of Jesus in us, if we act in the name of Jesus and we observe the great commandment of the practice of love.
4) Personal questions
• To know Jesus is to know the Father. In the Bible the word “to know a person” is not only an intellectual understanding, but it also presupposes a profound experience of the presence of the person in one’s life. Do I know Jesus?
• Do I know the Father?
• Do my works reveal the Father and the Son to others at all times?
5) Concluding Prayer
The whole wide world has seen
the saving power of our God.
Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,
burst into shouts of joy! (Ps 98:3-4)