If you love Me, obey Me

The world cannot receive Him, neither can it look for Him because they cannot recognise Him. However, Jesus’ statement “Seeing the Son is seeing the Father” is meant for those who believe in Him.

May 12, 2023

6th Sunday of Easter (A)
Readings: Acts of the Apostle 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Peter 3:15-18;
Gospel: John 14:15-21

“How can we know the way?” is a commonly asked question by all of us as Thomas, in our faith journey. To Jesus, Christian hope is not in a method or in a procedure, but in the person of Jesus Himself. Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn.14:6)”. In His instruction to His disciples, Jesus challenges them and personally invites them to have an intimate relationship with Him and to believe in the One who sent Him through the works that He has been doing in His three years of public ministry. Before His departure to His Father, He promised His disciples that He would not abandon them. Jesus desired that His disciples would continue God’s mission by doing greater works than Himself, if they believed in Him.

Philip’s question “What will happen to the disciples when Jesus departs from them?” is real and applicable, even for us today.

Sometimes we hear our loved ones asking ‘how can I live without you?’ Jesus knew that He is the Son of God and the Messiah who promised them that He would be with them to the end of time. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” says Eleanor Roosevelt. When someone we love is away from us for some time, we will miss them. We long to communicate and have a stronger relationship with them as we move on in life. We wish for that relationship to last longer.

Similarly, Jesus’ departure and His absence in person is necessary for the completion of His mission. This is also an important moment in the lives of the disciples — to mature with the promise of the Holy Spirit acting in each one’s heart until Jesus’ second coming.

The same goes for each one of us to encounter Jesus, even when He seems to be absent from us. We cannot deny our own experiences where we have gained values imparted to us by our loved ones. Though they are physically absent from us, we still treasure the valuable moments and make them our own for a fruitful life in Christ.

Philip asked Jesus, “Master, show us the Father…(v.8). Like him, we too struggle to experience Jesus personally in the everyday events of our life. We sigh often of weariness, almost of failure, for not being able to hear Jesus’ voice. His question is valid in asking Philip ‘have you not known Me that for so long a time I stayed with you?’’

“Seeing Me is seeing the Father”, says Jesus. Jesus’ works show clearly the way of truth and life. His words and actions qualify the expression “The Way”. Therefore, Jesus is not just a guide to salvation. Instead, He is the source of life and truth.

Jesus the promised Messiah walked His talk as the Father commanded Him. In the same way, Jesus commands His disciples to love one another by works of mercy, so that God will be manifested in the Son. Hearing and reflecting over and over the message of truth, together with the disciples, we, as believers, are challenged to experience the Spirit of truth working within us, in and through Jesus. To love Him is to love the Father. Jesus promised the disciples the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, who would remain with them till the end of time. In this sense, Jesus assures us of His Spirit who leads us all into the truth.

The world cannot receive Him, neither can it look for Him because they cannot recognise Him. However, Jesus’ statement “Seeing the Son is seeing the Father” is meant for those who believe in Him. As believers, we see the Father, who is invisible, through the Son who is visible, by His incarnation. Being touched by the grace of God, a true believer of Jesus is able to continue the revelatory ministry in truth because he or she has been baptised into Christ and he or she would be able to understand Christ’s union with the Father.

We always meet challenges in the form of argument, to prove someone wrong because we want to stand for our own truth. Instead, as baptised members in Christ, we are invited to journey with the community of faith to proclaim Christ as our true God, who showed us the way to the Father. Let us also bring to our awareness what St Paul says, “Beloved: In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as the one who brings hope into our lives and forms our conscience. No need to be afraid to suffer for doing good, if it is God’s Will. Let us learn to cultivate the joy of the Lord in our hearts and genuinely proclaim Christ by our life witness.

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