Daily Reflection
May 8th, 2004
Marcia Cusic
Chaplain of School of Medicine
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In the First Reading I can envision Paul and Barnabus speaking up and defending what Jesus had been telling the crowd.  They, as disciples of Christ, put their reputation and possibly their lives on the line to share the Good News that had taken hold of their hearts.  When reading the Acts of the Apostles today I imagine these earlier followers as people who were well aware of the resistance to believe that Jesus, this human, was also God our Savior, as promised so many years before.  Paul and Barnabus, upon being expelled from the area left and continued to be 'Filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.'  The earlier followers and preachers/teachers of a new faith in Jesus our God had to be bold people who were willing to risk, in order to spread the word about the life of Jesus and his revolutionary messages. They had to have a rough time going against the establishment, talking about new ideas, being inclusive and displaying joy and excitement about their faith in Jesus as God the Savior/the Redeemer.

I've often thought about what a great journey Paul had, as he traveled and communicated with as many people as he could.  While Jesus traveled and communicated, only a small number of people actually got to 'see' Jesus perform miracles or had a chance to actually 'hear' Him speak.  It was Paul and so many other disciples of Jesus who have spread the Good News by their letters, their speeches, their lives and their excitement and deep belief in Jesus as God.

In the reading from Psalms, which states, 'All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God' I am struck by the idea again, of actually seeing the saving power of God.  I begin to wonder, 'Why do I so strongly believe in the life of Jesus and know that He is, in fact, One of Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?'  I wonder about Thomas, who lived at the time of Jesus and who had such doubt.  How and why do so many other people and I believe in Jesus and the power of God through Him?

In today's Gospel Jesus states, 'Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.'  I have heard this reading/this phrase many, many times in my life.  As I read it today and thought about Philip's statement to Jesus, 'Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us,' I am almost amazed at the fact that I have received the gift of faith so easily and so openly.  Philip, lived with Jesus, heard Him communicate, was witness to His miracles and yet Philip is still questioning Jesus, The Father, Our God.

As I read Philip's questioning of Jesus I'm pausing, thinking about our own son Philip, who is nineteen-years-old and is questioning the existence of God.  If Philip, (the disciple) of Jesus still could not understand and accept the concept that Jesus was in fact Our Lord and Our God maybe our son, Philip, is experiencing a common human phenomena that many people go through in their faith journey.  I am almost amazed when I think of Philip's (the disciple) statement to Jesus.  I wonder - how long does it take until we get it? For our son, Philip, this is my struggle.  How long will it take until he gets it? Or my fear -  will he ever get it?

'Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.'  I think I'll suggest that our son take a college class on the life of Jesus. Maybe relearning, at an adult level, the recorded historical miracles and the revolutionary ideas of this man, Jesus, will help Philip with his faith journey.  I pray that he, too, may come to believe that Jesus had to be God and that our son will be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, which has so enriched and blessed my life and the lives of so many other people.

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