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Ashley McKinlessApril 17, 2024

A Reflection for Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Find today’s readings here.

“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

If you asked me to tell you about my parents, there is plenty I could say. They are both accountants. My mother grew up in South Carolina, and my father is from Virginia. He loves cinnamon rolls, and she loves ketchup. Those facts start to paint a picture of them, but they could also be said of many people. The most important thing about my parents is something that’s harder to put into words: that they are my parents, and I am their daughter. Many people know what it is like to have a mother and father, but I can never fully explain to them what it means to have my mother and father.

In today’s Gospel from John, Philip says to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus responds, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus could have rolled off some facts about the Father for Philip and the disciples—he is all-powerful, slow to anger, loves cinnamon rolls—but the most important thing is who the Father is to Jesus, and who Jesus is to the Father.

It is that relationship that changes everything for Israel and for us. God had sent ambassadors to Israel in the form of the prophets; now he has sent his son, the Prince of Peace.

Unlike us mortals, who often rebel against our parents or at the very least set out to chart our own path in the world, Jesus exists to do the will of his Father: “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own./ The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.”

Now all this might seem like a cryptic humble brag if it was not attached to an invitation: Jesus wants us to enter into that relationship with him. Because of Jesus, we do not have to see God the Father face-to-face to know and do his will. We don’t even have to quite understand the relationship between the Father and Son (if anyone has found an analogy for the Trinity that really works, let me know) to do the Father’s will: “Believe because of the works themselves.”

I’d like to think that, on my good days, the person I’ve become tells you something about my parents: They are kind, faithful, hardworking, generous. But Jesus’ works, in every word, healing and miracle, reveal his Father to us and invite us as sons and daughters to join him in building the kingdom of God.

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