Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. – John 12:20-22
I always enjoyed doing the “Children’s Chat” during my years of pastoral service, that few minutes where the whole congregation gave the children their time in the sunshine of worship. I recall one such children’s chat when at the time I experienced as a bit embarrassing, but looking back, it was remarkably insightful. A little boy I had not seen before asked me …”Are you Jesus?” Of course, the congregation chuckled and I suspect there were parents out there trying to hide. At the time I answered his question with something life …”No, I am not Jesus but I work for Jesus.” To which he responded …”Like those Santas in the stores work for the real Santa.” “I suppose … now who can tell me what this is that I am holding in my hand?”
“Are you Jesus?” In a certain way, no, yet in a certain other way, yes. Some Greeks, probably from Jewish families that had emigrated to other countries, probably more of the Greek culture and the Greek mindset than of their ancestral Hebrew culture and mindset, asked a disciple if they might have an audience with Jesus. “They wanted to see Jesus”. Now St. Philip the Apostle is venerated, a famous messenger of the Gospel. But then … Philip was merely a guy who seemed to have access to Jesus of Nazareth. It was Jesus Himself with whom they wished to converse.
Back to that little boy’s question … “Are you Jesus?” Maybe I ought to have offered …”Well, I hope that when you look through me you might catch a glimpse of Him.” I know … a rather advanced abstraction for such a young mind, but still a deeper theological understanding that I am but a lower grade version of the real Santa/Christ.
In these my contemplative years, I seek to live in such a way with such transparency that people can catch a glimpse of Christ by looking through the window of MY life. Oh, the image of Christ is probably rather dim and distorted, but I do pray that others can somehow sense that they see Him. And in our prayerful conversations these Greeks and I somehow will sense they are conversing with Christ. I call these moments when Christ is manifest in the conversation of souls, interpersonal communion, the Christ within the Christian calling forth the Divine Image that is latent in the Creation of all souls.
Live, my Loved Ones, with such transparency that others might behold Christ through the window of your living.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz