On this Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, here is an excerpt from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's book, On The Way to Jesus Christ (Ignatius, 2005):
Seeing Jesus in the Gospel of John | An Excerpt from On
The Way to Jesus Christ | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The farewell discourses of Jesus, as the Gospel of John presents them to us, hover in a singular way between time and eternity, between the present hour of the Passion and the new presence of Jesus that is already dawning, because the Passion itself is at the same time his "glorification" as well. On the one hand, the darkness of the betrayal, of the denial, of the abandonment of Jesus to the ultimate ignominy of the Cross weighs upon these discourses; in them, on the other hand, it seems that all of this has already been overcome and resolved into the glory that is to come.
Thus Jesus describes his Passion as a going away that leads to a new and fuller coming–as a state of being-on-the-way with which the disciples are already acquainted. Thereupon Thomas, surprised, asks the question, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus answers with a statement that has become one of the central texts of Christology: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."
This revelation of the Lord, however, elicits a new question now-or rather, a request, which this time is made by Philip: "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." Again Jesus replies with a revelatory word, which leads from another perspective into the very depths of his self-consciousness, into the very depths of the Church's faith in Christ: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:2-9). The primordial human longing to see God had taken, in the Old Testament, the form of "seeking the face of God". The disciples of Jesus are men who are seeking God's face. That is why they joined up with Jesus and followed after him. Now Philip lays this longing before the Lord and receives a surprising answer, in which the novelty of the New Testament, the new thing that is coming through Christ, shines as though in crystallized form: Yes, you can see God. Whoever sees Christ sees him.