“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14:9, 11)
This statement of Jesus was made in response to a request from Phillip, one of his disciples, that Jesus show the disciples the Father. Jesus is basically saying if you see me, you see the Father. St. Paul later says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.” (Col. 1: 15)
God is not this obscure, remote presence, hanging out in the clouds. He is a person, made known to us in the human person of Jesus at a given time and place in history. Jesus is God’s presence in both the physical and in the spirit. We therefore can see God in Jesus — in his words and actions, and through the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul reveals one additional mystery. He says, “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations…is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
So, we can see God in the person of Jesus. When we accept this and love him, acknowledge him, and obey his teaching, Jesus and the Father come and make their home in us. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (John 14:23 NAS) Amazing!
The result: Christ is in us! We can be and bring Christ’s presence to the people and circumstances in our lives!
When we take time to listen to a loved one or a work colleague and offer encouragement and support, we are being Christ to that person. When we refuse to shade the truth for economic advantage or career advancement, we are being Christ by bringing truth and integrity to the situation. When we are generous with our time, talents and resources with the less fortunate, we are being Christ in our communities. When we are doing our very best in our work, we are being Christ in the workplace.
Let me share an example of a good friend who owned an insurance agency. His office manager was no longer able to speak clearly after having surgery for cancer of the tongue. She asked my friend if she would be let go because of her inability to talk with customers, which was one of the most important parts of her job. She only had a year until her retirement and stopping work one year early would be highly prejudicial to her retirement income. My friend personally took the time to call over eighty of his customers to let them know of the office manager’s condition and ask if they could work with her under the circumstances and pray for her as well. Cards, letters, flowers and gifts started pouring into his office. As a result of his love and extraordinary efforts, his office manager was able to work until her normal retirement.
When we follow Jesus’ example of love and sacrifice, we are revealing the mystery of who God is and his plan for us to bring his presence to bear on a world in desperate need of his grace.
Have you experienced the mystery of God’s presence and brought that presence to others?