April 20, 2008

Gazing at Jesus

John 14:9

Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

During the long silence that followed the reading of John 14:1–14 this morning at St. Cuthbert’s, I found myself wondering exactly what Jesus meant when he said that anyone who has seen him has seen God.

In Exodus 33:20, God tells Moses that no one may see God’s face and live. So gazing at Jesus, we are able to gaze upon what would otherwise kill us. Looking at Jesus, really seeing him, is a way to pass down an otherwise deadly corridor; a way to reach the true, eternal, mysterious, awesome, hidden Source of Life.

What actions, then, do I feel God calling me to take?

  1. Gaze more often at Jesus as he is described in the gospels … read the stories; imagine what it would be like to take part in the scenes; consider how Jesus might be calling me to change. 

    I did this more often while I was going through the Ignatian Exercises, and I miss it. Taking a slow, careful look at Jesus is transformative. He is fascinating.

  2. Exercise the discipline of watching for Jesus in his distressing disguise in the faces and lives of the people around me. Matthew 25:40 comes to mind; the people who need something that I am called to give are Jesus.