My reflections are on the Gospel only.
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?
Do you think there might be just a tad of exasperation in Jesus' voice?
Jesus has been with Philip all this time .
And Philip STILL does not know , still does not SEE who Jesus is.
Maybe at some inchoate level Philip sensed that Jesus was leaving him and his disciples and his words were a measure of his quiet desperation that he could not face being left behind.
When someone we have loved for a long time, someone that we have invested all our time and being with, someone we have experienced all the highs and lows for so much of our life, is going away, how many of us have not asked in prayer for some sign from God to show us that this is not the end.How we long for a single word or a gesture of continuity. Despite all our hopes, beliefs and reassurances there s still that nagging doubt that this is all there is.
Yes, Philip STILL did not know and I too STILL do not know that Jesus has been with me all my life and will continue to be.
It is so easy to fall into despair by facing the truth of how shallow our knowledge of Jesus is but Jesus immediately and patiently responds to Philip's and our great longing.
Philip's request: "Show us the Father and we will be satisfied" is our longing and our confusion.
Of course we would like to see God, and THEN we would be satisfied.
But Jesus' response points us to what we already have experienced and know.
There is no further, additional, special, secret, "insider," knowledge, wisdom , sign , insight, or enlightenment that is needed.
Enter into me says Jesus. Trust into me.
Jesus has entered into and trusted the Father; and the Father has entered into Jesus.
So when Jesus says "Believe me ...," he is not saying, "Have an opinion about me or agree with me ..." Jesus is saying, "Enter into me ; trust me as the Father and I are one"
Jesus then makes an astonishing declaration of what the effect of all this will be.
Whatever you ask for in my name will be granted.
Unfortunately, "whatever you ask in My name," does not mean that tacking on "in Jesus' name every time we pray," means that we will get whatever we ask for.
The phrase "in my name" should be translated, "in my honour."
The whole purpose of John's Gospel has been that we might SEE Jesus, and come to have in us life that is in Jesus.
And we are promised the Holy Spirit to guide us. The world is full of many spirits - many of them lying and deceiving spirits - spirits that entrap us, captivate us in a material world and lead us astray.
But Jesus gave us The Holy Spirit who teaches us everything; and reminds us of all that He has said to us.
We, who like Philip, have been with Jesus all this time, and still do not know him, have this gift of The Holy Spirit every Pentecost to renew both us, our church and the face of the whole earth.
We are not alone.
We have not been left to manage with only own frail and faulty memory of better days.
We have not been left to figure things out with only our own dull imaginations.
Jesus encourages us to ask. He encourages us to ask for anything that honours His name.
So as I ask for my "daily bread", each day, for that clarity of understanding to see how Christ is present and with me always.
In the asking, I am given a promise and a blessing.
I am given a promise that God will provide and I am given a blessing of time, talent and ability to use the gifts God has graciously given me to work for Him through my own hands.
And that's worth waiting for.....................
and worth saying Thanks be to God!