“The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.”
The Self-revelation of Intimacy
We can trust God, by opening ourselves to God and expressing our fears as well as our hopes, our places of shame as well as our places of pride. The more open we can be, the more authentic our prayer will be.
-Br. David Vryhof
This week our theme is intimacy, and particularly, we’re focusing on the intimacy that is seen in the relationship with Jesus and his Father. Just as Jesus lives in an intimate union with his Father, so too, we are invited to live in that kind of intimate union with God.
So, what is intimacy, and what does it involve? In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ connection with his Father is so close that they share a common purpose, a common mission. Jesus says, “The words that I speak are not my words, but they are the words that the Father gives me. The things you’ve seen me doing are the things that the Father’s doing in the world.” He even goes so far as to say, “The Father and I are One.” He exists in this kind of intimate union with the Father, enjoying a deep connection with the Father – and from this deep connection proceeds everything that he does and says.
How do we live in this kind of intimate union with Christ, and with the Father, ourselves? We can think about what the marks of intimacy are in human relationships: Intimacy requires a kind of trust. It requires vulnerability and openness. Today, we have a verse from John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, Verse 20, where we read, “The Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing.” This points us to the love that exists between the Father and the Son, but one of the ways in which this love is expressed is through self-revelation. When we’re intimate with another person, we feel like we can reveal ourselves to them. We can let them know what we’re thinking, what we’re intending, what we value, what we fear. We can expose ourselves. We can make ourselves vulnerable. We can open ourselves to the other. And so, the question we’re given today is, “How can I deepen this sense of intimacy with God?” We can ask ourselves, “In my prayer, do I speak with God about the things that are really most important to me? How honest is my prayer? Do I talk with God about the things that really preoccupy me through the day? How vulnerable am I in prayer? How open am I in prayer to God?”
The degree to which we can trust God, by opening ourselves to God and expressing our fears as well as our hopes, our places of shame as well as our places of pride. The more open we can be, the more authentic our prayer will be. Today, reflect on your intimacy with God, and how truthful, honest, and vulnerable you can be in your relationship with God.