May 02, 2015
Saturday, 4th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 13:44–52
Gospel: Jn 14:7–14
Jesus said to his disciples, “If you know me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know him and you have seen him.”
Philip asked him, “Lord, show us the Father and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, “What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever sees me sees 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? “All that I say to you, I do not say of myself. The Father who dwells in me is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do. “Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father. Everything you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. And everything you ask in calling upon my Name, I will do.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Catechesis gropes for words to explain why there are three persons in one God, for such is beyond the scope of human experience. This notwithstanding, we hold on to the doctrine that there is only one God even though we speak of three persons. Jesus himself testifies that he and the Father are one. “Whoever sees me sees the Father,” he told Philip.
To appease my mind’s clamor for understanding I have accepted this doctrine as a mystery. Then one day I met the Focolare movement which introduced me to the teachings of its founder Chiara Lubich. She explains the mystery of the Trinity in the context of love as perfect unity. According to her, since love in the context of unity excludes division, persons in love are of one heart, one mind and one soul. The higher the love is, the more perfect is the unity. In the case of God, whose primary attribute is love, unity is perfect.
The Trinitarian doctrine is beyond earthly experience because none in this finite world is capable of perfect self-giving. But we can somehow confirm this doctrine by protracting our experience of mutual self-giving with our beloved. When a father, for example, forgets about his personal needs as he works so hard for the family, and in return the children reciprocate by studying hard out of gratitude for the love of their father, love binds them at least for that instance. This is the closest that human experience can get to the unity of the three divine persons. They are so united as to constitute one and only one Godhead.
We are called to the same perfect unity. Jesus prayed, “May they be one, Father, as you and I are one”. Let us strive to perfect this unity with one another now so that we may not be left out when God will finally unite the whole creation to Himself. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, help us to love one another and so have a foretaste of that unity we shall forever enjoy in your presence. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
ST. OF THE DAY: St. Athanasius Bishop and Doctor was born at Alexandria of Egypt in 293. After completing his theological studies, he was secretary of the bishop of Alexandria, whom he decided in 328. It was then the he began the theological struggle against Arius, the Alexandrian priest who denied the divinity of Christ. This, despite the fact that the council of |Nicaea had formulated in 325 the bomousian doctrine- that the son the divine nature as the father the conflict was far from over. The Arians were influential at the imperial court, and very active in propagating their heresy through popular songs. In 355, they were so widespread that St. Jerome explained. The whole world groaned and marveled to find itself Arian. The anti-Arian bishops including Pope Liberius, were kept in isolation, and Athanasius himself was exiled five times for a total inspiring books. He died in 373, and is considered the greatest champion of the church, because he defended the church faith against overwhelming odds and emerged triumphant.