FOR THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER
You came that late Saturday afternoon as I was returning home after Mass. You, Jesus Christ, appeared without warning to my right and started answering me in Your beautiful, mellow, tenor voice on an issue someone had raised about themselves and which I had brought to You earlier in prayer. All of a sudden, God the Father joined the conversation in His sweet, authoritative, bass voice and started interjecting His answers at the same time – something which had never happened during previous visits as both of You always took turns to speak. This time, however, it was deliberately different; with the reason for such difference being made clear to me well after the conversation ended.
As soon as Your Father started speaking You fell silent, looked upward toward Heaven and began listening to the Father with unfathomable respect. Your immediate action and behavior left me speechless. I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. In my life I had seen respect among human beings, even great respect. I also knew how much You love the Eternal Father – as, presumably, knows everyone else. But I had never witnessed first-hand the infinity and profundity of respect and reverence You manifest as the God-man toward Your Father. It left me completely in awe.
Since You are God by nature, by essence, You are co-equal and co-eternal with the Almighty Father (Gn 1:26; Jn 1:1, 10:30). But in the farewell discourse You gave more than two thousand years ago, You plainly declared, “the Father is greater than I” (Jn 14:28). No human being still on earth will ever be able to know, describe and understand more than a fraction of the fullness of Your relationship with Your Father. It is a physical impossibility. But during the above visit, there You were: God in Your own right, with all things under Your feet (Ps 8:6; Mt 28:18; Eph 1:20-22; Hb 2:8), falling silent without prevarication and paying unparalleled respect and reverence to Your Father who is also God. What did this all mean?
It was made clear to me that You wanted to emphasize the manner in which we should treat Your Father – and our Father (Jn 20:17) – precisely because He is the Alpha and Omega. Namely, everything came and still comes into existence because of God’s willed hypostasis as Father, including Yourself as only-begotten Son, for if Your Father had not been the Alpha and Omega, You would similarly not have been. That, in fact, is the reason for and meaning of the phrase: “The Father is greater than I” (Jn 14:28), despite Your co-equality and co-eternality with Him.
You wanted to show that if You, Jesus Christ, treated Your Father with such respect and reverence despite being God Yourself, how much more should we – mere created beings, handiwork of the Alpha and Omega Himself – treat the Father with respect and reverence, not to mention love. You also desired to manifest that although You are God, You love, adore, respect and worship the Almighty Father with all Your “heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27). And it was only in this manner that, more than two thousand years ago, You were able to both tell us and expect that we manifest – through You, with You and in You – the same kind of love toward Your Father.
The above is a brief, experiential description – peira – of the relational process between God the Father and His divine Son, Jesus Christ. It is also an object lesson in the way we should all treat our Almighty Father.