Sixth Sunday of Easter

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.”

I am in in my Father and you are in me and I in you.

We look all over the world to find fulfillment. But we often fail to take the time to look within. We often fail to find God inside us.

Saint Augustine would readily identify with this problem. In his spiritual autobiography, Confessions, he famously wrote, “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you.”

Saint Augustine was led to the understanding that he could best find God within himself rather than out in the created world. Rather than chasing outside, he turned inward.

On the wall opposite my desk here in this office, and alongside my copy of Dali’s John of the Cross, I have a copy of the painting of Jesus knocking on the door. It is always pointed out that there is no handle that Jesus could use to open the door. We are the ones that must open the door.

But others have pointed out that we can also reverse this image. In a very Augustinian understanding, we could see Jesus on the inside knocking and inviting us to enter inside and into a relationship with him.

Returning to Jesus’ quote, we also see that he is in communion with the Father. But, if we are in Jesus, then Jesus helps to bring us into that communion too.

Our interior life is necessarily interior. There is no concern there for other’s opinions of us. There is no room for seeking approval from others. There are no to-do lists. There are no worldly pressures. There is just us and God. It is there that we understand our status as a beloved child of God. It is from that simple and yet wonderful fact that we draw our sense of self-worth and our true identity.

Grounded in a solid interior life, we can be better able to encounter the exterior world. We can be more focused on serving others than needing anything ourselves. We can draw our satisfaction from inside rather than outside because we have found God inside.