‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THESE words of Christ were addressed to Philip, the apostle, who asked Christ to show him the Father after Christ said that he was “the way, the truth and the life” and that no one can go to the Father except through Christ. (cfr. Jn 14,6,8)

We can easily understand the perplexity of Philip. But this particular part of the gospel precisely clarifies who Christ really is—and that is that he is truly the Son of God who became man, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, and that with the Father and the Holy Spirit, he is the very one God there is.

This is very important and most basic truth of faith for which we should develop the strongest conviction and which we have to spread and explain as widely and abidingly as possible. We cannot deny that many people, even those who claim to be Catholics and Christians, who actually do not know who Christ is.

For some, Christ is neither God nor man, or that he is a special, unique being. There are others who claim he is only God and not man. And others who say the opposite—that he is only man and not God. There is even one so-called religious leader who managed to get a good following of people and who claim to be the very son of God to whom everybody should go for their salvation.

There is a great need for a systematic catechesis to proclaim the truth about Christ. We have to encourage everyone to really know Christ by reading and meditating on the gospel where his life, teachings and deeds are recorded. We have to explain with gift of tongues why Christ has to be the center and focus of our life. Also, that Christ makes himself available to us to the extent that he makes himself the Bread of Life which he commands us to eat if we want to gain eternal life.

That Christ is both God and man, “perfectus Deus, perfectus homo,” can only validate the Christian truth that man is meant to share in the very life and nature of God. Not only that, that we are actually patterned after Christ.

In short, how God is should also be how we ought to be. It’s a most basic truth about ourselves that we should never take for granted. On that truth depend all the other things in our life.

The necessary corollary to this truth is that we should try our best, with God’s grace, of course, to be like Christ who precisely offers us “the truth, the way and the life.” The way to be like God is to identify ourselves as perfectly as possible with Christ. We have to try our best to assume the very identity of Christ.

There’s no doubt about it. We are meant to assume the identity of Christ, because he is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity. We can only be as we ought to be when we assume Christ’s identity. That is to say, when Christ and us become one.

Let’s remember his ardent prayer before he entered into his passion and death was that we be one with him and he is one with his Father. “…that all of them may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us…that they may be one as we are one, I in them and you in me, so that they may be brought to complete unity…” (Jn 17,21.23)

We need to process this tremendous truth of our faith slowly.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com


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