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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
1st Reading (Acts 13:44-52): On the following Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, «It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth».

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region. The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds. His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 8:31-32): Alleluia. If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 14:7-14): Jesus said to his disciples: 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.”

“I am in the Father and the Father is in me”

Fr. Jacques PHILIPPE (Cordes sur Ciel, France)

Today, we are invited to recognize the Father who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ. Philip articulates a very fair intuition: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” (Jn 14:8). To see the Father is to discover God as the origin, as the life that flows, as generosity, as a gift that constantly renews everything. What else do we need? We are coming from God, and each man, even if unconsciously, carries the profound desire of going back to God, of recovering the fatherly home and remaining there forever. There we can find all the possessions we may strive for: life, light, love, peace… Saint Ignatius of Antioch, a martyr at the beginning of the second century, expressed it eloquently: “There is in me living water that murmurs within me: 'Come to the Father'!”

Jesus gives us a glimpse of the deep reciprocal intimacy that exists between Him and the Father. “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn 14:11). What Jesus says and does emanates from the Father, and the Father fully expresses Himself in Jesus. Whatever the Father wants to tell us is to be found in the Son's words and deeds. All He wants to fulfill for us He fulfills through His Son. To believe in the Son allows us to have “access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph 2:18).

—The humble and faithful faith in Jesus, our choice to follow and obey Him, day after day, connects us mysteriously but truly with the very mystery of God, while making us recipients of all the riches of His kindness and mercy. This faith lets the Father execute, through us, the work of grace He began in His Son: “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do” (Jn 14:12).

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Let us pray as God our Teacher has taught us. For since He says, that whatsoever we shall ask of the Father in His name, He will give us, how much more effectually do we obtain what we ask in Christ's name, if we ask for it in His own prayer!.” (Saint Cyprian)

  • “The Lord’s invitation to encounter him is made to each of you, in whatever place or situation you find yourself. It suffices to have an openness to letting him encounter you unfailingly each day.” (Francis)

  • “Christ's whole earthly life - his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking - is Revelation of the Father. Jesus can say: ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’ (Jn 14:9), and the Father can say: ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ (Lk 9:35) …” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 516)

Other comments

“If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

Fr. Iñaki BALLBÉ i Turu (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Fourth Saturday of Easter, the Church invites us to consider how important it is for all Christians to be aware that they need to know Christ more and more. Which tools can we rely upon for this? Several, and all of them fundamental: well pondered and attentive reading of the Gospel; our personal involvement when praying, by trying hard to make our prayers become a true dialogue of love, not a mere introspective monologue, and the daily renewed effort to discover Christ in our fellow men: our relatives, our friends, a neighbor perhaps in need of our attention and help, of our advice, of our friendship.

“Master, show us the Father”, asks Philip (Jn 14:8). A good request for us to keep on repeating all this Saturday. —Lord, show me Your face. And we may wonder: how is our behavior? Can others see Christ's reflection in me? What little thing could I fight for today? We Christians must find that divine something in our daily chores; God's footprint in all that surrounds us. In our job, in our social life amongst others, everywhere! Or, when we are sick, too: when we are ill it is a good time for us to identify ourselves with a suffering Christ. As St. Therese of the Child Jesus said, “if we do not decide ourselves to swallow once and for all our death and our lack of health, we shall never do anything.”

The Lord of the Gospel assures us: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (Jn 14:13). —God is my Father and, as a loving Father, He looks after me: He does not want anything to hurt me. Everything that happens —everything that happens to me— is meant for my sanctification. Even though, with our own human eyes we might not understand it. Even though we can never understand it. That thing —whatever it is— happens because God allows it to happen. Let us trust Him just as the Virgin Mary trusted Him too.