April 19, 2008

Posted on

Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter

John 14:7-14

Last Supper Discourse

You know, my name is a reminder of who I am before God. When I was in high school, I asked my mother where they got my name. She told me that they got it from a scratched newspaper thrown in a garbage can. My father got it and saw the name, “Joseph.’ And so they decided to name me as Joseph.

I told you that my name is a reminder of who I am before God because the name, ‘Joseph’ is a Hebrew word which means, God will increase. Just like St. John the Baptist who says: “He must increase and I must decrease.” I will not make myself known to other people, instead, I always pray to God to make me an instrument so that He will be known to them.

I’m sure almost all of us want to know what God look-like, as what St. Philip the Apostle did in today’s gospel (v. 8) who asks Jesus to show to them the Father and that is enough for them. Jesus answers him by saying: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,” (v.10). In other words, let us look at the life and acts of Jesus and we will see God the Father. The early Church Fathers called Him, “the Great Sacrament,” who signifies who God is and what God does. Catechism of the Catholic Church also says that: “The Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus ‘we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see,’” ( no. 477).

A priest said in his homily that one of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God.  Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about Him but we can know Him personally.  The essence of Christianity and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other world religions is the knowledge of God as our Father.  Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like.  In Jesus we see the perfect love of God: a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross.   Jesus is the revelation of God, a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly.

Concretely, there are different forms of Christ’s Presence that shows God the Father to us. The Second Vatican Council reminds us of these various forms of Christ´s presence among us in the Liturgy as mentioned by Sacrosanctum Concilium no. 7 like, He is present: in His word, in the priest, in the weak and in the needy and so on and so forth. Jesus is present in our churches and adoration chapels around the world. He remains with us and shows us that the Father’s love is present, always working for the good of our salvation. In connection to this truth, Pope John Paul II (General Audience, November 21, 1988) said that one must be able to see these presences: we must have ‘eyes for seeing and ears for hearing,’ with a direct knowledge which is a real communion of life”. Although Christ died on the cross, he also rose from the dead and continues to live among us and manifest Himself to us in many different ways.

And so if we call ourselves Christians, then the people may see Christ in us. If to see Jesus is to see God the Father and so therefore hopefully and prayerfully, to see us is to see Jesus too.


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