Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Personal Revelation

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” - John 14:21

This passage from St. John's gospel looks like a mathematical equation. You know, like the transitive property if a=b and b=c then a=c. St. John is showing us that Jesus spells out quite plainly the truth about those who love him and the results of that love.

I am most interested in the part that says, "and reveal myself to him." How does Christ do this? Some say through scripture, some say through other Christians, and still some say through prayer and the sacraments. Truth is that he reveals himself in all of these ways, but above all Christ reveals himself through his Church. Think about it. How else would we know anything about the Lord? It is through the Church that all three of those conditions are met in one place. The scriptures are a product of the Church (and not vice versa), and the Church itself is the family of believers who are united in prayer and the sacramental life. Simply put, without the Church, his body, Christ would never be known to anyone.

For this reason, I always look with a raised eyebrow at people who say, "I don't need to belong to the Church to have a relationship with Jesus." That is silly. It is like saying I don't have to be a part of my family to have a relationship with my mother. The simple reality is that the only way to have a relationship with Jesus is through the Church because that is how Jesus wants it. It is a personal relationship because we come to know Jesus personally when he reveals himself to us, but all revelation about Jesus comes through the Church.

So let us continue to read the scriptures, pray, receive the sacraments and gather together as God's family, for this is how Jesus reveals himself to us, and more importantly, this is how we learn that Jesus loves us.

St. Isidore, pray for us.


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