Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip” (Jn 14:8-9)?
Again we see the Apostles struggling to understand that Jesus and the Father are one, that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus attempts to explain again to Philip that whoever sees him sees the Father.
The challenge here is that Philip and Jesus are using the same language but talking from different points of view. When Philip is asking Jesus to show him the Father through physical eyes, he is asking to see God along the lines of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting of God. Jesus has been revealing the Father through the spiritual eyes of his works.
God is not finite, he is not a being like we are. He is neither male nor female. We use the term Father because Jesus used it often to speak of him, and thus why we use the pronoun him. But he was using analogous language to create a bridge of understanding for us who are finite, human beings to help us understand better our relationship with our God who is Infinite Act, having no limitation, for his essence and his existence is one and the same. Even though God is beyond any genus, beyond any way for us to classify him, we can still know and experience God.
Jesus shared with Philip that “The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves” (Jn 14:11).
When Jesus heals, exorcises demons, speaks on his own authority, associates with those on the peripheries, these are just some of the ways he is revealing the Father who dwells within him. In these very acts, he is loving those in his midst, he is willing their good. When Philip and the Apostles believed in Jesus and when we do, we will do the same works that Jesus did, because when we love one another as Jesus loves us, God is present because God is the infinite act of Love.
Speaking of love, sending some love out today to my mother, step-mother, sister, and all mothers today. Happy Mother’s Day!