3rd Wednesday of Easter Time
Feast of Sts. Philip & James, Apostles
1 Cor 15: 1 – 8; Ps 19; John 14: 6b, 9c
The Gospel today is part of Jesus’ great discourse at the Last Supper; it has been called His Last Will and Testament. In His last words to the disciples, He again reveals something of the mystery of His own life, His life united to the Father in the embrace of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ words to Thomas: “If you know Me, then you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him” evoke a seemingly impatient reply from Philip: “Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Philip’s request gives Jesus the occasion to speak of His beloved Father.
Jesus replies: “Philip…Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” Their seeing of Jesus and therefore, of the Father was much more than a gift of spiritual sight. In that experience of seeing Jesus, the Father was speaking and working through and with the Son not only to Philip and the others but also into them, transforming them in their depths, although they were not at first aware of this.
Their belief in Jesus, their commitment to Him, their desire to follow Him, in all their humanness, was directly, completely due to the Father dwelling in Jesus and Jesus dwelling in Him in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Because of this grace both Philip and James will go forth to preach and ultimately be put to death – James stoned to death in Jerusalem and Philip crucified in Phrygia. Jesus had truly shown them His and their Father.
And so with us, we too have been shown our Father through, with and in the Lord Jesus. We are brought to charity in action, to faith lived in prayer, in Lectio Divina, in the Holy Eucharist, in hope manifested in our perseverance in living our covenant with the Lord because of our Father’s love. Jesus said it most clearly: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
This is the reality of our lives; may it be the source of our gratitude and faithful response to the end.