[The homily I had ready to give this weekend]
You believe in God; believe also in Me, says the Lord Jesus (John 14:1)
Almighty God made the heavens and the earth. He knows all and governs all. We believe this. [Spanish]
Every generation gets born basically knowing about God. Knowing that the Creator made us. Mother Nature herself puts within us an overwhelming desire: to know God and to have His friendship.
Then we encounter the confusion and disinformation of this self-obsessed world. It tries to talk us out of the most basic truth, the truth of intimate prayer. The fact that the God Who made us has a plan for us, loves us, and draws us to Himself constantly. So that, in the end, we can share His blessedness. We make our way to that goal by praying.
The world wants us to obsess about far-lesser things. Like switching from cable to Netflix.
But: Above everything in this world; before it all; encompassing it all: our Creator, our God. Prayer. Our Father. Thy will be done. Give us our daily bread. Deliver us from evil.
Some divine things remain altogether mysterious to us. We can’t imagine the act of making the heavens and the earth out of nothing.
But we can feature the facts of Jerusalem in 33 AD. We can picture those facts with no problem. Unjust men mercilessly executed the great teacher of divine love, for no good reason. They laid His expired body in a tomb on Friday evening. Then, on Sunday morning, some of His disciples saw Him walking around, very much alive and well.
We can see these historical events of Easter in our mind’s eye. Then we wonder: How did this occur? What power intervened? People don’t usually rise from their tombs. Who exactly was it that overcame the cruel blow? The blow that left the Lamb of God dead and cold.
The answer is: God. The Creator. The same unimaginable power that made everything, knows everything, and governs everything. He raised Jesus from the dead.
Truth is, that’s when God really showed His true colors. Yes, He shows His true colors every time He makes the sun rise. But He really revealed Himself when He raised Jesus from the dead.
Jesus said: Believe in God; believe also in Me. We believe in God Almighty, the Creator, Who raised Jesus from the dead. And we believe in the divinity of the Christ of God. As Jesus put it: He who has seen Me has seen the Father. (John 14:9)
Our religion aims at one thing: Jesus. We hope for no greater reward. God can give us no greater reward than His only-begotten Son.
Now, fair enough: some of us might get distracted sometimes. Maybe some people daydream of other things in heaven. Like bowling, for free, for all eternity, in shoes that fit. Or eating endless ice cream cones, one after another, and not getting fat or even bloated.
But no reward we can imagine truly reveals the perfect, unending happiness that Almighty God has prepared for us in Christ. Anything that we could fantasize about falls short of the reality of heaven. Our imaginations cannot exactly help us. Except when, asking for the Holy Spirit’s help, we imagine Jesus Himself.
We can imagine Him. His face. His peace. His loving gaze.
On the Lord’s face, the true blessedness of heaven shines out. The undying love of God dwells in His Heart. It operates there, expresses itself through Jesus’ Body, and touches us. We find the reward that our souls seek: Communion with Christ, the man, the Nazarene, God our brother. Nowhere else. To see Christ is to see the Father. Our hearts can rest in Him. Here, and only here: divine blessedness.
Philip didn’t understand. Lord, show us the Father, then we’ll be satisfied!
We can hardly blame Philip. He clamored like a child. Lord, we believe in You! Give us unlimited ice cream! Or maybe a Lexus to drive in heaven forever!
But Jesus says, No, my children. Do you not know Me? The Father wills to give you a place in His house. And His house is My Heart.