Introduction: John 14:7-14, exposes the disciples’ deep desire to see God which is stirred by Jesus in the previous text when Jesus says “I am going to prepare a place for you”… “so that where I am you may be too” (14:3). To see the Father seems to be the last and the greatest thing a person could aspired to. It is the longing for where we came from and the longing to see God face to face.
Thank you for sending us
Your Son the mirror of your
True face. Through him we know you
That you are a Merciful Father close to us.
Stir always in us the desire
To long for you, to be with you.
Read the text John 14:7-14 read the text slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
1. Reflect : read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
2. Respond : read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord?
3. Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Do not say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
4. Take now the word, sentence, or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word leads you to action.
Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: As Jesus journeyed along with the faith and life of the disciples, and having perceived their weakness as well as their strengths, he confirms them in his love and trust which are two important elements in his relationship with them stablished before and after his departure. In fact, a disciple of Jesus would be known, as he told them before his death, by their love for one another and for their trust and faithfulness to his Master. That brings a new relationship with Jesus and the Christian community after his resurrection.
Central Message: “If you know me, then you will also know my Father.” “Lord let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.” “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.”
a) “If you know me, then you will also know my Father.” It is difficult to understand Jesus’s words if one does not have a personal and spiritual encounter with him. What does this mean? To better understand these words, we look at the life and experience of St Paul who encounter Jesus in his distorted ways. For start, he believed that by persecuting and imprisoning people of the Way was the right thing to do and that it was good for his religion. it was clear that he was in immersed in religious fanatism of his time. But everything changed when he met Jesus as he travelled alone. As Jesus entered his life, made him change radically his ways and made him one of his most outstanding and fearless Apostle. His conversion is characteristic of a militant Christian. He acknowledged his wrongdoing and ask God to have mercy on him a sinner. He was given the knowledge of God the Father by the same Jesus as expressed beautifully in his letter to the Ephesians 1:1-14. Jesus’ mission was to reveal the identity of God as the Father and his plan of salvation. He did it by speaking about Him in parables and through many miracles he performed, so that everyone could see and know that the Father was in Him and he and the Father.
b) “Lord let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.” Jesus mentioned the Father very often in his speeches and prayers, he did so because the Father was everything to him. The reference to the Father then provoked the disciples’ curiosity especially in Philip who said, “Lord show us the Father and we shall be satisfied”. This expression indicates a genuine desire and a thirst for God to see him face to face. Jesus certainly spoke eloquently about his Father so much so that he stirred in peoples’ hearts that longing for the Father. For instance, there is the scene of Jesus praying in a certain place, that when he finished praying one of his disciples, speaking on behalf of the group, asked Jesus to teach them to pray just as they saw him praying (see Lk 11:1-4). Jesus was so immersed in his prayer and in the presence of Father that it touched their heart and triggered in the disciples the desire to do the same. So, the disciples’ desire to see the Father was the last thing to hope and to long for in this present life. We shall not lose sight of what Jesus teaches us through the scriptures and to what he is showing us day by day through the church, through people and through daily events of our life, because it is he talking and so the Father is.
c) “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.” The mission of Jesus was to show his Father to the world, to know who God is, “this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God and the One you sent, Jesus Christ”. (John 17:3) The way he related to Him and by doing everything he did, he showed that the Father was in Him and he in the Father. That he was the Sent One, and in him is the fullest revelation of the of God the Father. We need only to look at Jesus to know God for “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” said Jesus. He wants us to be part of the divine family, to enter into the mysterious life of the divine Persons who share everything in common and are only one God. All the things he said and all the things he did come from God the Father. Therefore, Jesus urges us to believe in him at least on the evidence of the works he has done and continuous to do. Wherever we see healing, reconciliation, justice, love, life-giving deeds, there is the work of God and God is there present in our midst.
Some questions for our reflexion:
1. How do you nourish and cherish your inner desire for God?
2. How do you experience Jesus present in your life? How does he revel to you God the Father?
3. Where do you see Jesus’ work and presence in your midst?