In today’s Gospel, the apostle Philip has a problem that most of us might honestly admit we wrestle with too. “Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus’ response makes lots of sense theologically. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” After all, Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in him.
But the challenge comes when we know the Son in the flesh. Our sensible nature has a difficult time peeling away the flesh and blood of his human nature and recognizing what remains, the pure spirit that is God. Of course the divine attributes are there; infinity, omnipotence, immutability, omniscience, and so on. But we are so immersed in the senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell, that once these are eliminated we can’t imagine what is left.
There’s no question about it. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he shows his omnipotence. When he foretold his suffering and execution, we understand Jesus is omniscient. After he fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish and they collected twelve baskets of leftovers, we’re convinced of his infinity.
So Jesus tells his apostles and us that if we have a hard time believing that he is in the Father and the Father is in him, it will be helpful for us to believe in the works that he does. However, we didn’t live to physically witness the works mentioned above.
But, all the miracles of nature and the universe, the miracles of modern medicine, the triumphs of technology, the success of science reveal the necessity of an author with the divine attributes mentioned above. The physicians, scientists and inventors are merely discovering and exposing miracles hidden by their author from all eternity. And however we prefer to name him, that divine intelligence has to be God. So if we want to know the Father, we have to experience his attributes by recognizing the miracles happening every day in our world. On recognizing the miracles we are challenged to grow in the knowledge of our Father.
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