Jesus said, «I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. 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. And everything you ask in calling upon my Name, I will do».
All that a good Christian can gracefully desire or proudly search with its extremity is to Know God and His will. This divine knowledge, not simply knowing about God, but concretely knowing Him, particularly in a personal way, is and should be the sole goal of every human being, if we desire for peace and tranquillity. But the great question is, how to know him? Saint Augustin will start his ‘confession’ by asking this famous question. To know God, we should love Him and to love Him, we should know Him.
To say and conclude concretely, how to really know God? Jesus is asking each and every one of us to ‘Search in Him’ to know the Father. How to know Jesus? It is by seeing what He has done, by learning what He has taught us, and by putting everything in our daily life, thus becoming the perfect disciple, who will follow his master, in a perfect and radical way. It is in Jesus alone that the humanity is called to discover the FATHER and only in and through HIM that we can understand God.
Then, how to know the will of the Father. Personally I discern this in a particular way and this can be useful for you all too. Whenever I am not sure what I should do, I invite Jesus to sit beside me and ask Him to discern for me. I observe Him patiently every movement of life and simply imitate Him. Thus, if I made a mistake in my discernment, I simply forgive myself and go further. In case if I get good result, I simply glorify God for using me as an instrument. I am happy to be a clay in the hand of the potter, to be destroyed and to be remade, to be pushed aside and simply ignored to be dried up. In any way, it is God who acts in us.
For the gospel explication in a strict sense do see the French commentary.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
All nature serves for our instruction, by Leo the Great, 400-461 A.D.
"All nature serves the Word of God for our instruction. Through all the turning points of the year, as if through the four Gospels, we learn from the unceasing trumpet both what we should preach and what we should do... What is there through which the truth does not speak to us? Its voice is heard in the day, it is heard in the night, and the beauty of all things, established by the work of one God, does not cease to put into the ears of our hearts a ruling order, to let us see the 'invisible things of God through those which have been made intelligible to us,' and it is subject not to the creatures but to the Creator of all things." (excerpt from Sermon 19,2)
«I am the way, the truth and the life. If you know me, you will know the Father also»
Fr. Joan SOLÀ i Triadú
Today, we celebrate the feast of Philip and James, Apostles. The Gospel refers to those chats Jesus used to have with the Apostles only, with the purpose of giving them a clear idea about himself and his Mission on Earth. For the Apostles were very much imbued with the ideas Jews maintained about the Messiah: they expected a terrestrial and political liberator, whereas Jesus' person did not meet at all with any of those preconceived images.
The first words we read in today's Gospel are in reply to a question by the apostle Thomas. «I am the way, the truth and the life. If you know me, you will know the Father also» (Jn 14:6). This reply to Thomas gives way to Philip request: «Lord, show us the Father and that is enough» (Jn 14:8). Jesus' answer is —in actual fact— a reprimand: «What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip?» (Jn 14:9).
The Apostles could not quite understand the unity between the Father and Jesus; they did not quite realize Jesus is God and Man in one person. But He does not limit himself to prove his equality with the Father, He also reminds them they are to keep on carrying out his Saving Work: He confers upon them the power to do miracles, He promises them they will forever be with him, and that everything they ask in his name, He will do.
But Jesus' answers to the Apostles are also intended for all of us. Saint Josemaria says, when commenting this text: «‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. With these unmistakable words the Lord has shown us, which is the path that leads to eternal happiness (...). He points it out for all men, but especially He emphasizes it for those who, as you and I, have told him we are decided to take up seriously our Christian vocation».