Saint for the day: Matthias (Dates unknown)
Acts 6:1-7 – Psalm 33 – 1 Peter 2:4-9 – John 14:1 – 12
“Philip said to Jesus, ‘Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.’” (John 14:9)
Today we are hearing almost the same Gospel that was read yesterday so it must be important for us to really get it. Perhaps the Church is thinking that not everybody attends daily Mass and it’s important for the whole Church to hear this central message: “Do not let your hearts be troubled …I go to prepare a place for you … there are many dwelling places in my Father’s house … I AM the way … I AM in the Father and the Father is in me.”
It’s almost if Jesus is trying to tell His disciples, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Our physical senses cannot comprehend the reality of the presence of God in our world. Even Moses had to come to grips with the notion that we must walk by faith. The disciples say to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus responds to them by telling them, “You have to begin by washing feet!” And, of course, they will be just like us and say, “OK! We got that part. But we want to do the really big stuff!” Jesus’ response to this request is to tell them, “Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic.” (Luke 9:3) Since there is no mention of sandals it might be implied that they might have to wash some feet along the way which should remind them to “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)
The trouble, though, is that most of us want to go directly from the Cross to the Resurrection without spending those days in the dark of the tomb. Even when Jesus takes the disciples up the mountain and shows them just a hint of His Glory they can’t take it in. Look at any artists’ rendition of the Transfiguration and you’ll see the disciples knocked over by the wonder of Jesus’ Glory. So, in the meantime we walk by faith. There’s an old ‘Gospel Song,’ “From glory to glory He’s changing me from earthly things to the Heavenly.” We simple have to take the time to grow into the reality that we are on our way to the Kingdom. We’re not there yet and we’re still on our way. Even the two disciples who experienced the Resurrected Jesus at Emmaus only gradually – on their way back to Jerusalem – can say, “Were not our hearts burning within as He spoke to us?” (Luke 24:32) There are about 15 references in the Bible to “Hardened Hearts” so that must tell us that we should seek to have “hearts burning within us” so that we are fired up to get back on the road to begin making that journey to the Kingdom. And just in case you might have forgotten: that journey will take you via the Hill of Calvary with a brief stop-off in the darkness of some sort of tomb before you get to the Heavenly Gates. Amen!