John 14:6-14

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 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 say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”


Today in the life of the Church, we commemorate two of the lesser known apostles – James, son of Alphaeus, and Philip who is noted in several important moments in Jesus’ ministry in John’s gospel. Today’s gospel is one of those moments. The beginning of our gospel reading is familiar to many as it is part of the text often read at funerals because it offers a sense of comfort and assurance, “Jesus said, .… ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’”

Jesus tells his disciples that if they know him, they also will know His Father. Philip is not quite convinced. He then asks Jesus to show them His Father and goes on to say that if Jesus shows them His Father, then they will believe Jesus’ words. I can only imagine that Jesus had to have been deeply disappointed by Philip’s response and his need for proof. Jesus must have wondered why, after all their time together, Philip and the other disciples still did not understand who He was. What would it take for them to believe and trust who He was?

Now I can’t be too hard on Philip because there is something about our human nature that makes us question and look for proof. Faith and trust are difficult in our human relationships and perhaps even more so in our relationship with God and Jesus. The truth is that Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God. 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 loves unconditionally. Our faith tells us to choose the ways of Jesus who said that he is the way, and the truth and the life. This is our assurance that in the midst of our uncertainties and our fears, we can rely and cling to Him; Jesus is present with us every moment of every day. All that we have to do is to recognize the love that surrounds us every minute, every second of our lives.

Faithfully,
Rose+


Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(Lesser Feasts & Fasts, 2018)