Daily Reflection
May 3rd, 1999
Gerry Stockhausen, S.J.
Department of Economics
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
John 14:6-14
Feast of the Apostles Philip and James

"Lord," Philip said to him, "show us the Father and that will be enough for us." "Philip," Jesus replied, "after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me?

Student to teacher: “I didn’t know you were going to take off for spelling mistakes!”
Teenager to parent: “Since there wasn’t any damage to the car and nobody got hurt, I didn’t see any point in telling you I had an accident.”
Husband to wife: “You know I love you; do I have to say it all the time?”

Human communication is a wonderful thing—when it happens!  We often find ourselves thinking we have been very clear about something, only to find out later that the message was at best incompletely received.  As John the Evangelist describes the last supper, Jesus discovers over and over that his disciples are not very well prepared for his impending death.  They are not emotionally ready to face his departure, and they have not internalized his message.

In the face of this realization, Jesus doesn’t yell at them or stomp out of the room.  He continues to reassure them and teach them.  He continues to invite them to share his intimate relationship with the God whom he calls Father.  That’s not the way I usually respond when I discover that my crystal clear communication has not been received.

Only after his resurrection and the sending of the Spirit will the disciples be transformed.  After they see Jesus, as Paul describes in the first reading, they will catch on.  In the power of the Spirit they will begin to live out all that Jesus had taught and invited them to.  They will find themselves struggling to communicate the good news to others, and finding as Jesus did that it does not always come across as intended.

Beloved, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you retain it as I preached it to you.

What about us?  Can the people around us tell that we have seen Jesus?  Do our lives communicate clearly or only vaguely that Jesus is our way, our truth, and our life?

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