Acts 13:44-52; Psalm 98; John 14:7-14
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells his disciples: if you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. The Greek word for know means absolute knowledge. This knowledge comes from experiencing the other person, from a relationship with the other person, just as a husband knows his wife and the wife knows her husband only after years of marriage. By saying this, Jesus shows knowing him is knowing AND seeing the Father. With this statement, Jesus stresses I am in the Father and the Father is in me. The interesting thing is Jesus said this after the Last Supper, before his arrest, suffering and death. He says from now on, you do know him and have seen him. From this point on in their life, they do see the Father through Jesus.
The arrest, suffering and death, and resurrection and ascension of Jesus shows the Father to us. When we look at these events, we see Jesus. We see the constant emptying of Jesus of his life, his constant giving of his life, literally pouring out the last drop of his blood in his death. God wants us to have life, to the full and it is through Jesus that he proves he is really serious. The death of Jesus shows God is willing to die so we can have life.
The sad thing is many people do not believe this and reject this and as Paul says in the First Reading, they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life. Our having eternal life or not is not a judgment of God, but it is our own judgment. We choose hell when we reject the eternal life God gives us, by choosing to worship and serve other gods. This is why the First Reading says as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. This phrase needs to be explained. God has predestined everyone to have eternal life. Everyone is destined for eternal life. BUT this is fulfilled only when we accept God’s gift when we believe in his Word. God cannot save us if we do not want to be saved. The Psalm tells us the Lord has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. But if the nations will not acknowledge God’s works, if they will not believe in his works, then there is nothing God can do. His love for his creation, his respect for our free will prevents him from forcing himself on us.
Many say this pandemic is a chastisement from God. Whether true or not is a subject to theologians. But this is certainly a call to draw nearer to him, to see the works God has done, to see the victory of God in our lives so we can accept him. It is a call to come to Jesus and see how much God went through for our sake. The victory of God is seen when Jesus died on the Cross to open the gates of heaven. The victory of our God is shown in the resurrection of Jesus, when he defeated sin, suffering, sickness and death. The victory of God is seen when Jesus ascended to the Father to fulfill God’s plan for him, to rule over all creatures in heaven, on earth and under the earth. AND this is also what God wants to give us. It is a life of victory, of power and dominion, not the one promised by the world or the devil, but one that is promised and proven by Jesus Christ.
What shall I do then, if I find it hard to believe this, if my life does not show this? Jesus said 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 anything, I will do it. This does not mean that Jesus will give whatever we ask. The condition is: we ask in his name. We ask what he would ask for the purpose of glorifying his name. When we ask God to reveal himself to us, to show us the Father, and we will be satisfied, Jesus will show us himself. This is the prayer Jesus hears and answers.
Lord, I come to you with a desire to receive the gift you have planned for me: eternal life, a life of victory, of power and dominion coming from you which glorifies the Father. Show me who you are so I may know the Father and see him. I surrender my life to you Lord. Take if, break it, bless it and give it back to me, with a new and vibrant faith. One that seeks the glory of the Father and one that lives for you.