Jesus Shows Us the Father
Presence of God– O Jesus, You are the Word who reveals the Father. You alone can teach me who God is. Speak, Lord, for Your servant heareth!
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God” (John 17:3), Jesus tells us; and St. John the Evangelist says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (John 1:18). Only Jesus, the Son of God, can give us knowledge of the Father: He alone, as God’s Word, is by nature the Revealer of God.
Our words express our thoughts; likewise, the Word, the substantial utterance of the Father, expresses the Father and reveals the nature of God. When the Word was made flesh, He continued to be what He was, the Word, the Splendor of God, the Revealer of God. Becoming incarnate, He made Himself known to men, and accessible to our human capacity, but that implied no lessening of His divine nature.
Even when Jesus does not speak, His very Person and actions reveal God to us. He often remarked sadly, in the face of misunderstanding, “If you knew Me, you would know My Father also” (cf. John 8:19, 14:7). To Philip who, at the Last Supper, asked Him to show them the Father, He replied in a tone of gentle reproach, “Have I been so long a time with you, and have you not known Me? Philip, he that seeth Me seeth the Father also…. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” (John 14:9,10).
Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15): it is sufficient to look upon Him with faith and love in order to know God. From no other master, through no other way can we acquire such knowledge, indispensable for eternal life. “Neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27).
“O Jesus Christ, Son of God, Word and Wisdom of the Father, You are the Book of Life; You came into the world to teach us, by Your life, Your death, and Your doctrine…. O uncreated God, make me worthy to understand You, as Your Son revealed You, His Father, to us” (St. Angela of Foligno).
O Jesus, I, too, ask with Philip: “Show me the Father,” but I quickly add: Show Him to me in You, for the Father is in You, and You in Him, so that looking at You, I see and find Your Father. Your humanity is a veil which hides and conceals the divinity of the Father, divinity which is also Yours because You are God, like the Father and the Holy Spirit. You are the Word, O Jesus, but the Incarnate Word; and the utterance of the Father is, so to speak, written in Your flesh, so that I can read it in You, the one, true Book of Life. You reveal God to me by Your whole Being, Your Person, Your actions, and Your words. Always and in every way You repeat one great truth to me: God is Love. Eternal life consists in knowing You, O Jesus, and through You knowing God. No one but You can give me this knowledge; I can learn it only from You. How necessary it is, then, and how much I want You to teach me! “O my Lord and true God! He who knows You not, loves You not. Oh, what a great truth is this! But alas, alas, Lord, for those who seek not to know You!” (Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 14). O Jesus, it is surely deplorable that the world is not interested in knowing You and Your Father; but the offense would be beyond imagination if a soul who is consecrated to You should act in this way, or should be satisfied to know You only superficially!
O Lord, reveal Yourself to my soul, because I want to know You, to know You in order to love You, to serve You and to regulate my life according to Your wishes. “O God, when a woman in the world is about to marry, she knows beforehand whom she is to marry, what sort of a person he is and what property he possesses. Shall not we, then, who are already betrothed, think about our Spouse … who is His Father, what is the country to which He will take us, what are the riches with which He promises to endow us, what is His character, how we can best make Him happy, what we can do to give Him pleasure, and how we can conform our character to His? O my Spouse, must we, then, make less account of You than is made of men?” (Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 22).
Note from Dan: This post on “Jesus Shows Us the Father” is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art: St. Philip, Peter Paul Reubens, circa 1611, PD-US author’s term of life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.