My sisters and brothers in Christ,
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father! Jesus does not mince His words in the Gospel today, from Saint John. There are all kinds of references in each of the Gospels to tell us that Jesus is God, that He is the Son of God in a very special way and that He is divine. Because we do not know the Jewish traditions of the Old Testament, we oftentimes miss such references. In the Gospel today, it is difficult to avoid understanding that Jesus is Lord and God when He tells us that whoever has been him has seen the Father!
The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, is important because it shows us that followers of Jesus beginning to organize
the Church. There is no doubt in the Gospels that Jesus left behind Him communities that were in the process of organization,
in the process of becoming institutions in some sense of that word. Jesus did not just leave individual believers. Jesus
leaves communities of believers that already had a structure. The structures had to begin to change. It is clear right from the beginning that the group known as the twelve was an important aspect of leadership. They are not the only leaders, but they are deferred to in great decisions.

The reading from the Acts today shows us the beginning of the role of deacon in the Church. So we return to the Gospel. The only way to be built into the Church is to accept Jesus as Lord and to allow ourselves to be formed in the same way as were his early followers.They were formed into community which recognized authority in the twelve and in the gathering together of those in authority.

This recognition is still in its early stages, but it is there. Jesus tells Philip bluntly that whoever believes in Him will do the works that He does, and will do greater ones than these. Our call this day is to believe and to see Christ at work in the Church which He founded, no matter how sinful that Church may be at times. Faith allows us to recognize Christ in His Church. Come, my sisters and brothers, let us walk with Christ and allow ourselves to recognize Him in His Church and give thanks to the Lord.

 

Father Jesus Garcia