The knowledge of the Father surpasses words

Jesus said to the disciples: “I have revealed your name to the people you gave me out of the world. They were yours and you gave them to me and they kept your word. Now they knew that everything you gave me was from you, because the words you gave me, I gave them. And they received them and truly recognized that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me” (Jn 17, 6-8).

The knowledge of the Father surpasses words

Clinging to Jesus leads to a knowledge of the Father that surpasses words. Illustration image: Olivier Jodoin
Last time we thought about our Father’s house, how we should imagine it and what it means to us. But who is our Father? We certainly do not imagine him as an old man with a long gray beard that we saw in pious pictures as children. So who is the Father whom Jesus reveals to us? Who is it actually telling us about? What is his name?


The name in the biblical meaning means the essential center of the person, our essence, or according to tradition, the heart. The revelation of God’s name is the revelation of his presence to us. God surpasses our ability to express him in words, because he is not a figure, an object that we can grasp and imagine with our mind and senses.
That is why the apostle Philip was very surprised when, to the request he made to Jesus: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough”, he received a rebuke rather than an answer: “Philip, I have been with you for so long, and you do not know me?!” Whoever sees me sees the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?!’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” (Jn 14, 8-10).The revelation of the Father by Jesus is not the revelation of his appearance, but the revelation of his life. When God appears to Moses, he pronounces his name – “I am that I am” (Ex 3, 14). What is the difference between this Old Testament name and what Jesus reveals to us? “I am that I am” was an expression of the eternal being of God, who is the fullness of all, and at the same time expressed his presence on the way of the wandering people.


However, Jesus develops this dynamic of God’s life even more. It does not represent the Father as a separate ruler, but as one who is part of our life experience. Clinging to Jesus leads to a knowledge of the Father that surpasses words. It comes from our life, from our life practice, from our actions that we do every day, whether it is sweeping the room, managing a company, walking with a loved one.
Our experience of God will not take place like in some movie, which will be shown to us in a dream or in some special experience. If that were the case, the vast majority of people would never meet God. How then is God present for us?
We are not expected to do anything special. It is enough to simply realize that whatever we do, we should do it in the awareness of his presence in us and in what we do. Our task is to give it free rein – to do what we do in the given situation, knowing our eternal immersion in God’s life. Without him we could do nothing (cf. Jn 14:5). This is how simply the Father is in each of us through the Son, and he created us so that he could reveal himself to us and give us gifts.


Finally, the very word God (Slavic Bog) is derived from the word rich. This reveals its essence, which is also represented in Sanskrit by the word Bhaga, which means bountiful divine giving, bountiful wealth. God is truly a rich giver of life, who says: “It is good that you are, because you are my good.” For we are of him, says Paul (cf. 1 Cor 3:16).
Let’s try to think about the secret that our good is also God’s good. In this way, we will better understand Jesus, who says that God does not want to give just some gifts, but first and foremost himself. The gift is for us to reach the Giver through it, but we must be careful not to cling to the gift and elevate it above the Giver.


Let us believe that Jesus with the Father and the Spirit is in us immeasurably simply by creating and enabling us in everything we do. Let us believe that God is so great that no man is small to him. Therefore, it is enough for us to be immediate to God, without calculating, following the benefits that feed our ego. This is where our true sacrifice lies – I do not give God something I have or some words about sacrifice, but myself by giving myself in a given situation.
Our Father does the same, who gives himself to us and to all creation in every situation of our life. With every act of kindness, we participate in the life of God. And that is why each of us is capable of God.


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