3 May 2019. Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Reflection (Sem. Glicerio T. Tano)
In the Gospel narrative, Philip asked Jesus to let them see the Father and then they shall be satisfied. Then Jesus replied that to see Him is to have seen the Father. This passage invites me to re-examine myself on how strong my faith is in seeing Jesus in the ordinary, humble, lowly people, and most especially in the Scriptures.
One of my favorite philosophers is Baruch Spinoza, who in his writings strongly advised to go back to the Scriptures in order to have a good life and to find the truth. For him, feeling is a good ground for faith. But I think it might be risky and difficult to reason out from religion, especially today, in a world where people, the so called “millennials”, disagree fundamentally about the most basic points in the Scriptures. People nowadays are very practical in terms of understanding about life. They are influenced by the pleasurable and visible things in the world, where they can find happiness. They fail to realize that they can be guided through reading the Bible.
The Gospel challenges me to have faith in God, and let His healing hand unveil my eyes. In this way, I may be open to a whole new awareness of loving, knowing, relating, and believing with Him. I, too, can open new doorways by having the courage to follow God’s guidance and by doing what I need to do to better myself. As with the Gospel of Matthew 17:20 says, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you”. With God’s help and encouragement, I can step out in faith and change my life forever.
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
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?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
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.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”