OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER
1st May, 2021
DO PEOPLE SEE JESUS IN YOU?
It is the desire of all of us – like Phillip in the Gospel – to know what God looks like. Phillip asks Jesus to show him the Father; “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” John 14:7-14. Jesus answers him by saying: “He who has seen me has seen the Father....Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the father is in me,” John 14:9- 10. This means that if you look at the life and acts of Jesus you have already seen God the Father. The early Church Fathers called Jesus, ‘the Great Sacrament’ who signifies who God is and what God does.
Jesus makes it possible for each of us to encounter and know God the Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God; a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down His life for them upon the cross. Jesus is the revelation of God, a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly.
Through baptism we received a Baptismal Character. This means that, through baptism we were, “Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all Baptism cannot be repeated” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1272).
Baptism marks us permanently as belonging to Christ,whose image we bear. From the above, all of us who have been baptized have been incorporated and configured to Christ. Each one of us carries with him/her the image of Christ. In other words, we are alter Christus which means that we are other Christ. Whoever has seen a baptized person should have seen Jesus, and by extension God the Father, because he is in Jesus and Jesus is in him through baptism.
If someone listens at you speak and looks at your way of life, can he say that he has seen Jesus and hence God the father? Has the Word of God configured you more into other Christ? Has your communion of the Holy Eucharist incorporated you more into Christ? Has your love of neighbor made you to bear more perfectly the image of Christ?
May we allow Christ to influence us, for each one of us will be an alter Christus (another Christ) in the measure in which he receives Christ’s influence, His grace, His virtues, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and, above all, the motion of the Holy Spirit, which urges us to make a complete gift of self for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.
If we call ourselves Christians, then people should see Christ in us. If to see Jesus is to see God the Father; hopefully and prayerfully, to see me/you is to see Jesus. May we become true extensions of Jesus here on earth?