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May 10, 2020: Fifth Sunday of Easter

As of 2019, Providence Food Pantry, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, celebrates 25 years of service to West Terre Haute residents.

Reading: John 14: 8 –12

(Translation from The Message – The Bible in Contemporary Language: Eugene H. Peterson)

Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we will be content.”

“You’ve been all this time with me, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you are not mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.

Believe me, I am in the Father and the Father is in me — if you can’t believe that, believe what you see — these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving  you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.”

Reflection:

I so identify with Philip. I can absolutely imagine Jesus saying to me, “You’ve been all this time with me, Denise, and still you don’t understand?” Whenever Jesus gets into “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” language, I feel in over my head. The only thing I can make of passages like this is that we’re talking about the very nature of God. Heavy theological stuff.

So when this gospel is proclaimed, I’m relieved when we get to the part “if you can’t believe that, believe what you see — these works.” I understand that. Jesus sums up his works in his admonition to ‘love God with all your heart, soul and mind … and your neighbor as yourself.” I understand that these are the works he leaves me to do.

Mmmmm… thinking about how much effort I’ve put into trying to love God, self and neighbor and looking at the results of my efforts, maybe I’d rather have the theological discussion than doing the “same work” as Jesus. It’s hard work. Most days, I’d just rather talk about it. So if Jesus asks me ‘Have you been all this time with me, Denise, and still you do not understand?’ I’d have to respond, “Some days yes and some days no.”

Action:

Watch the YouTube video of Audrey Hepburn singing “Show Me.” For me, it’s a lighthearted way of believing because of seeing works not only hearing words.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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