Gospel: Jn 14:7-14 -
Jesus said to his disciples: ”If you know me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know him, and you have seen him.”
Philip asked him, ”Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, ”What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever sees me sees 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?
”All that I say to you, I do not say of myself. The Father who dwells in me is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do.
”Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father. Everything you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Indeed, anything you ask, calling upon my name, I will do it.”
What Philip was asking borders on the extraordinary. For in the mentality of the Jews, no one sees the face of God and live. Yet here now in our gospel is Philip having the temerity to request Jesus to show them the Father. This shows the success of Jesus, by His words and actions, in changing the mindset of His disciples. The Father is not a remote, inaccessible and stern God who can only be approached in holy terror, but a loving and doting Father who revels in sharing His love to His creatures.
Yet this same Philip have missed a truth that has always been there. This Master who relates lovingly to the Father is the actual human face of the Father. Thus to see Jesus is to see the real Father. Jesus and the Father indwells in each other. This substantive unity while preserving the Person of each other attests to the tremendous power of love. It unites without dissolving one to the other. And so Philip has actually seen the Father in Jesus Christ. But he has to be made aware of this. Another mystery has been revealed to the Apostles that day. Jesus gently initiates them into the fullness of the mystery of His life.