Tuesday, May 03, 2005

SS. Philip and James

"Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." (John 14:8)

So Philip asks to be admitted into the exclusive company of Moses and Elijah, who encountered God face-to-face. Little does he realize that he speaks to the Living God in the person of Christ. "He who has seen me has seen the Father," Jesus responds.

All of us desire to see God, though we are not always aware of this desire. The things of creation are so good, so well made, that we stop following the promptings of desire when we encounter something pleasing. On occasion, we recognize that the things of this world cannot satisfy, but then those who make this observation are often drawn to an empty gnosticism: the idea that God is something wholly other. The Christian professes the Incarnation, the eternal logos, the Word of God become flesh and visible to our mortal eyes in Christ. Here we have flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone and here is our poor flesh transcended and raised to glory.

"Let all guests be recevied as Christ," St. Benedict teaches. How we are unaware that we inhabit this world with souls reborn with the very life of God within them. "Show us youir face," we say to God, and He shows us the face of the poor, the disabled, the man or woman we love to hate. How can we reckon with the humility of our God, who is everywhere and yet invisible? There is only one way: "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me," says the Crucified One, our Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all power and majesty for ever. Amen.

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Origen of Alexandria
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