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[caption id="attachment_171521" align="aligncenter" width="1180"]"What happens when we know Jesus" by Margaret Dwyer Hogan (CatholicMom.com) Image by Suzy Hazelwood (2018), < a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/book-opened-on-top-of-white-table-beside-closed-red-book-and-round-blue-foliage-ceramic-cup-on-top-of-saucer-1526049/">Pexels.com, CC0/PD[/caption]

I consider myself lucky. I felt prompted to get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation before it was suspended for this pandemic. I was really struggling with the concept of God after conversations with my adult children and my 12-year-old daughter talking about the vastness of the universe.

As I sat in that confessional this past March, I confided in this priest that I was struggling to articulate to my kids, and myself, how God could exist in the vastness of the universe. The priest I spoke with that day gave me a different kind of penance, asking: “Have you heard of the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis?”

"Yes," I replied, "I have a copy of that at home."

“I have been reading that book,” he continued, “just a bit here and there and contemplating it. Perhaps you should do the same.”

And so I did. Now in week seven of this quarantine, I alternate reading this at night with other spiritual reading. This morning when I was walking, it all came together for me in a rather simple way.

Contained within this Sunday’s Gospel is John 14:6-7. The first part of this verse is famous, but it is the second sentence that I finally understood.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.

If you know me, then you will also know my Father.

From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (emphasis mine)

When we know Jesus, we know God. When we know Jesus, we live our lives differently than the world. When we know Jesus – when we allow ourselves to be his hands and feet, to live a life grounded in others first – modeled for us by the Mother Teresa and countless other saints – that is how we come to know our Heavenly Father.

[tweet "To know Jesus is to know God. To love Jesus is to love God."]

To know Jesus is to know God. To love Jesus is to love God. That is the answer.

Copyright 2020 Margaret Dwyer Hogan