“I WISH TO KNOW CHRIST” (Phil 3:10)
” ‘Philip,’ Jesus replied, ‘after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know Me?’ ” –John 14:9
The apostle Philip lived, ate, drank, slept, and traveled with Jesus. After three years, Jesus had to conclude that Philip still did not know Him (Jn 14:9).
After three similar years, the apostle Peter admitted this same fact. Peter looked at Jesus standing bound and accused from across the courtyard and said: “I do not even know the Man!” (Mt 26:74) While it is true that Peter spoke words of cowardice, it’s also important to realize that Peter really didn’t know Jesus. He knew Jesus as Teacher, Master, and Miracle-Worker, but Peter did not know Jesus, the Suffering-Servant.
If the apostles didn’t know Him, then how can we know Him? “The way we can be sure of our knowledge of Him is to keep His commandments” (1 Jn 2:3). If we tell ourselves, ” ‘I have known Him,’ without keeping His commandments,” we are self-deceived (1 Jn 2:4).
We need to know His commandments in order to obey them. Consequently, we need to spend time reading His Word and making it our home (Jn 8:31). In the words of St. Jerome: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Catechism, 133).
We will one day find ourselves telling Jesus all the ways in which we knew Him (Mt 7:22; Lk 13:26). Yet if we did not show that we have known Jesus by keeping His commandments, His assessment of us will be: “I never knew You” (Mt 7:23).
PRAYER: Jesus, I wish to know You, Your Word, the power flowing from Your Resurrection, and how to share in Your sufferings by being formed into the pattern of Your death (Phil 3:10).
PROMISE: Jesus “rose on the third day…He was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve.” –1 Cor 15:4-5
PRAISE: Because of his faithfulness, St. James was one of the first to encounter the risen Jesus.