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Over the years many people said I was the spitting image of our Dad, Peter Chambers, and I remember early on in my shaving career looking in to the mirror of a morning and thinking to myself “why am I shaving my Dad’s face?”  I think this is an experience a lot of us have – of seeing our parents and relatives in our image. Of course, when you’re young and think you’re invincible, this is a bit confusing because you believe that you’re unique and there’s no-one like you.  Then you start to notice, as I did, that you hold your hand and cross your legs in the same way as your parents do.  You become a copy of them.  For myself, as I went further on through life, I began to see that I not only looked like Dad but acted like and also thought like him.  In so many ways, I reflected that I was simply a younger version of him.  In my teens and early twenties I thought he wouldn’t understand my problems and challenges but later on in life I realised he fully understood my problems – he’d had similar challenges and doubts and fears growing up – just in a different decade.  Now that he has passed away, those thoughts give me inspiration to keep going through the challenges, doubts and fears – that he’s there and I think to myself “how would you have faced this, Dad?”

 

 

 

Today in the Gospel we are invited to see the intimacy of Jesus and his Father.  Jesus says “to have seen me is to have seen the Father” and then further on he says “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  For the apostles gathered around Jesus for those three years in the public ministry, they would have begun to understand that when Jesus washed their feet, it was God the Father’s love being shown as well, when Jesus forgave sinners, it was God the Father’s mercy that was being shown and when Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, it was God’s the Father’s giving new life in abundance. 

 

 

 

This Gospel comes immediately after Jesus had washed his disciple’s feet and he was preparing their minds and hearts for when he would no longer be physically with them.  How does he do this?  Jesus tells them, by speaking about this intimate link between himself and the Father, that, in the same way as the Father is not physically present but is really there in Jesus’ words and actions, in that same way Jesus will be totally present in THEM (though not physically) when he returns to the Father.  The disciples would then be able to continue Jesus’ work by preaching, by forgiving, by healing.  Jesus’ presence in the world, God’s presence in the world would continue through the words and actions. 

 

 

 

You and I are invited into that intimate relationship with Jesus and with God the Father.  Jesus says to you today “to have seen me is to have seen the Father” and then “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  If you want to know what God the Father, your Creator, is like then look at Jesus.  See how he forgives – that’s the Father’s forgiveness.  See how Jesus washes the disciple’s feet – that the Father’s love.  See how Jesus dies on the Cross – that is the Father’s plan for you.

 

 

 

I recently came across the famous icon of the Trinity.  It was painted in the 15th Century by a Russian, Andrei Rublev and depicts the three persons of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Curiously they sit on three sides of the table with the fourth side empty.  That side is for you and for me.  We are invited to the intimacy of the Father’s table, to sit there, to soak up the love, care forgiveness and strength from God and then to take that with you as you go through life – with all its trials and successes – and find a meaning and a purpose in God. 

 

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