Sunday, July 6, 2014

How well do you know someone?

Can we ever know another person completely? In most cases, no. But Matthew tells us that we can know God that way. If we look at 1 Cor 13:12 we are told that now we see as in a mirror and know partially (ginosco), then we will see God face to face and know fully (epiginosco). This latter verb is the one St. Matthew uses when he explains today that

No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

Not the partial knowing of St. Paul's mirror but the fully knowing. In the person of Jesus Christ God has made himself fully knowable. He is the full revelation or God. The Word of God is not primarily a book, the Bible. THE WORD is a person, Jesus Christ. Go read the opening of John's Gospel.

Who can know him?
It is worth noting that St. Matthew does not say, "anyone to whom the son has revealed him" or "anyone to whom the son reveals him." He says, "anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

To whom does he wish to reveal him?
Paul in his First Letter to Timothy answers that question, "This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth." And here again the word is EPIginosin, full knowledge of the truth.

Every church in the world has the same mission statement: go and teach all nations. How do we know the Father? Through the Son. How do we know the Son? 1) in the Eucharist in which he most fully present, we can receive him into ourselves. 2) in his word, as we study particularly the Gospels, Christ is present to us. 3) in his Body, the Church.

In the Gospel today Jesus issues an invitation, Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened. Our mission, is to constantly issue that same invitation. We receive Christ on Sunday so we can go out and show Christ to others, ease their burdens.

When we think of "a personal encounter with Christ." We think it means me and Jesus. And it can be that encounter that we have while praying before the blessed sacrament, or meditating on his Word. But if we are truly Christian we must also be that personal encounter for others.

This week, look for someone who labors and is burdened, be that encounter with Christ for them. Let them experience the love of Christ through you. Just one person per week. If every Christian in the world touched one other person, we could fulfill the seemingly daunting mission.