Thursday in the Fourth Week of Easter - 2012
Let me begin by asking you to read today's selected Gospel reading once or twice and rather slowly, inviting the Holy Spirit to allow you to sense these powerful words of Jesus Christ.
John 14: 6 - 14Jesus 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, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "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."
Having read this, can you write in a short sentence of two how Jesus' words impacted your thinking this morning? How many times have you encountered the moment when you find yourself challenging God? God, show me the answer to my pain, to my doubt, to my lack of love. Philip wanted Jesus to show him the Father. As I think about my own dealings with God, I think I ask for the universe! My religious training, begun when I was four or five years old, some many years ago, led me to believe a simple truth: God is a mystery, Jesus is a mystery, the Holy Spirit is a mystery. So, how often, even today, do I find myself failing to ask God to show Himself to me? Over the years I have learned that while our God is a hidden God, I have seen him. Of course, not as I have seen members of my family or brothers in the priestly ministry have I encountered God. Nonetheless, I know that I have seen God's presence in Clare, a woman who opted for a tube to feed her body. How calmly she sat, propped up in her hospital bed awaiting the angel death to bring her to God, telling her husband and children she was in pain but that it was diminished by the expectations that she would be with God in just a few minutes. And that is how she died ... letting me and hopefully her family get a glimpse of God in this wonderful lady.
As a priest there have been so many different "moments" when I felt that God was present in a particular circumstance. It was beyond doubt that it was any other power working in other people before me.
And as your read these words of Jesus, did the Holy Spirit plant in your heart and mind a significant moment you had that helped you better understand what God looked like?