Today’s Gospel: John 14:1-12 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Thomas and Philip want direct answers and physical proofs of the Father and Heaven but received neither during this discourse. Do their demands remind you of anyone? While our material selves often reduce truth to simple concrete and physical proofs, Jesus goes beyond that. He appeals to the heart, using language that is intricate and sometimes obscure. True, Jesus performed many concrete miracles which these two men witnessed time and time again; but the reasons extend beyond providing simple, concrete proof. He loves and that moves Him to compassionately help those in need. Jesus wanted Philip and Thomas to respond in kind with their hearts rather than their just their heads. Jesus’ miracles are also “most certain signs of divine Revelation adapted to the intelligence of all; they are motives of credibility which show that the assent of faith is by no means a blind impulse of the mind.” [CCC156] In other words, our minds can trick us into believing something which isn’t true. Consider how the ancient peoples believed that the Sun was deity as well as the moon, the constellations, lightning and thunder – while having enormous power, these natural phenomena were not accompanied by Divine Revelation. Today we find these ancient beliefs comical. We are moved to believe “not because revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in light of natural reasoning but we believe because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. [CCC156} Furthermore, “revealed truths can seem obscure to the human reason and experience but the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives.” [Thomas Aquinas] “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.” [John Henry cardinal Newman] [CCC157} In this discourse, Jesus again emphasized the necessity of faith. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God and to attain to the fellowship of his sons…” [CCC161]
Do the demands of Philip and Thomas remind you of yourself? Have you ever demanded proof from Jesus? How did that turn out? What did you learn?
Lord, please increase our faith, and decrease our doubts. Help us to attain the fellowship of your daughters in Heaven. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Linda Kracht