In the Gospel of St. John, during the Last Supper discourses, we encounter some astounding teaching on intimacy with the Jesus Christ and with His Father. Philip says, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Our Lord answers, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
There is a fine classic work in Carmelite spirituality by Father Marie-Eugène, himself a Carmelite priest (b. 1894) beatified in 2016. The title of the book, I Want to See God, is taken from an episode in the life of St. Teresa of Avila. She and her brother, Rodrigo, in hope of encountering martyrdom at the hands of the Moors, ran away from home, according to the story, and once found were returned to the distressed parents. When asked why they had done this, Teresa explained, “I went because I want to see God, and to see Him we must die.”
In a person pursuing a deep relationship with God, a profound desire to see God arises. his is what Philip expresses with his request. Every devout Christian wants to see the Creator. To do this that Christian realizes that something must change in their conduct — conversion, rejection of sin, a dying to self — and the Christian embarks on a journey of coming to know God through Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh. The Christian is called then to an intimacy with Jesus Christ, through Baptism a child of God, sharing in the life of the Trinity, nurtured by the presence of our Lord in the Sacraments. Then, God does great things in the life of the Christian. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).