Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me? (John 14:9)
Many superhero movies have a scene in which the masked hero unveils himself to his family, his friends, or the woman he loves. Usually, the people are shocked to discover that this ordinary person is also a secret crime fighter with special powers. But when they start to piece together all of the facts, the truth seems obvious.
Today’s Gospel reading has a similar plot line, but with a different twist. During the Last Supper, Jesus takes off his “mask” and tells the apostles who he really is: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11). But the twist is that his big revelation is met with doubt—and by Philip, no less, someone who has been with Jesus from the beginning (John 1:43).
You might expect Jesus to be disappointed in Philip and the others, but that’s not how he reacts. Rather, he walks them through the facts and helps them piece it all together: the miracles they have seen him perform and the words they have heard him speak. Then he goes on to tell them that they too will be able to do superhero-like feats as they grow in their faith and trust in him. He tells them that they are destined to be heroic proclaimers of God’s mercy and grace-filled witnesses to the power and love of their Father.
Just as Jesus revealed himself to the apostles at the Last Supper, he reveals himself to us every time we gather for Mass. He teaches us through the Scripture readings, and he moves our hearts at Communion. He shows us that he is present among our brothers and sisters, and he urges us to become like him in the way we love each other.
So when you go to Mass tomorrow, pay close attention to the readings. See if you can discern Jesus’ voice in them. Is he saying something to you personally? When you pray, “Lord, have mercy,” let him convince you that he has taken away your sins. When you go to receive him in the form of bread and wine, ask him to open your eyes to his presence more clearly—and to make you more like him!
“Open my eyes, Lord, to your love and your presence!”
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne