by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
I think to begin to get the full impact of what Jesus is teaching us today, it’s helpful to go back a little way in this Gospel. During this same Last Supper conversation a few minutes earlier, Jesus had told his disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God but through me, and if you know me, you know God also. Indeed, you know him and have seen him.” Then Phillip, at this point in the conversation, says, “Lord, show us God and that will be enough.”
Jesus said to Phillip, “What? Have I been with you so long and you do not know me, Phillip? Whoever sees me, sees God. How can you say, ‘Show us God.’? Do you not believe that I am in God and God is in me?” Jesus shows surprise and disappointment. I think we have to reflect on this, remembering that Jesus was fully human like we are. He had been trying to teach his disciples over those two or two and a half years that he had been traveling with them in such close companionship, and he thought he had gotten across the point that God was in him, that he indeed is God.
All of a sudden, he finds Phillip saying, “Show us God and then we’ll be able to believe.” Jesus says with disappointment and shock even, “Phillip, don’t you know? Can’t you see in me that I am God?” I think in his humanness, Jesus knows that he’s at the very end of his life. He’ll be executed the next day, so he is determined that before he goes, he needs to be sure these disciples know who he really is and what he has come to do, and that is to share his life as Son of God with all of us…
2 thoughts on “REFLECTION: God’s eternal love provides perfect example”
Not everyone is strong enough, or has enough faith to handle what Jesus was teaching. Philip’s reaction was typical of us all. And this reaction is ESPECIALLY TRUE when a person is in crisis. At that time a person needs hope and needs to see a true sign from God. Many times, when this doesn’t happen [or the person doesn’t understand] they have a crisis of faith. They are not bad people, just having a very hard time of it. Not everyone has the self-assured faith of a church leader or someone special in this world. Most of us are just trying our best to make it day by day. I do think the Lord understands that better than church leaders and politicians do!
The way I see it after 34 years with the Lord.
HE loved me before the foundation of the world.
But, was I there to witness?
I was a breath of his breath,
but incapable to see.
HE was the “I am who I am” ,
I was an unconscious fetus.
From eternity to mortality He loved me across time.
I know Him now because I saw Him in the face of Jesus:
Oh! My God how wonderful you are.
I will love Him back from mortality to eternity
when time cease to exist.
I thank you Lord for this exciting trip of love.
It brought me up from unconsciousness to awareness of You and me.
Your great “I am who I am” and my little “i am” in you.
Now I can glorify your name the way you wanted it to be:
“Being in love with you”.
Beirut – Lebanon