The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Although I am an ordained deacon of the Catholic Church, the opinions expressed in this blog are my personal opinions. In offering these personal opinions I am not acting as a representative of the Church or any Church organization.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Homily: Monday, 7th Week of Easter

Readings: Acts 19:1-8; Ps 11; Jn 16:29-33

I think sometimes we forget the wonders of the Blessed Trinity. Too often it seems we try to divide our loving God, separating Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yes, they are three divine persons, but three persons in one God, bound together intimately in a way we will certainly never fully understand in this life.

In the gospels Jesus leaves behind wonderful insights into the depths of this divine relationship. We encounter an example of this is today’s passage from John’s Gospel, a selection from Jesus’ Last Supper Discourses. In the verses immediately before this passage, Jesus had given the disciples a taste of the the divine relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit. 

The disciples had longed to hear this. Undisguised, no longer hidden in parables, His words pointed to the inspiriation they would receive through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who would come and guide them to all truth. As Jesus told them:
“He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you” [Jn 16:13-14].
Hearing these words, do you get the sense of the intimacy between Son and Spirit, that nothing separates them? Yes, that time is coming when Jesus will speak to them, and to us, and do so through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 

We see this experienced by the disciples in Ephesus when they were confirmed by Paul and received the Holy Spirit. Yes, they “spoke in tongues and prophesied” [Acts 19:6].

Jesus had predicted this when He told the apostles, “The hour is coming when…I will tell you clearly about the Father” [Jn 16:25].

This telling will come to them through the Spirit, for where the Spirit is, Jesus is, and so too is the Father – always together, never separated.
“I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” [Jn 16:28].
Jesus spoke plainly indeed, and even told them of their coming denials, how each “will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone” [Jn 16:32].

Yes, relying only on themselves they must first fall into the depths, into the darkness. Only the loving hand of God can lift them up into the divine light that Jesus has promised them. It is a hand extended by the Holy Spirit. Yet even here, even as He described how they will abandon Him, Jesus adds a word of comfort:

“But I am not alone, because the Father is with me” [Jn 16:32].

Father, Son, and Spirit – always together, always one, always showing us the way. Jesus revealed this to ready them for all that will follow, so that they “might have peace” in the midst of troubling times. “Take courage,” he tells them [Jn 16:33]. And then He reminds them of something remarkable: 
“I have conquered the world” [Jn 16:33].
This isn’t something He will do, or something He’s doing right now…No, he had already done so: “I have conquered the world.”

The Word of God who spoke at the Creation has come into the world and conquered it by His very Presence. Yes, His Passion, Death, and Resurrection will show the world that He has done God’s saving work of bringing redemption to His people. He invited the disciples to share in this victory, promising them the Presence of Father, Son, and Spirit as they follow Him on the Way.

Jesus invites us as well. Even as we encounter difficulties and hardship in our lives, we too are called to “take courage.
Leave fear and worry behind, Jesus commands us. These are the things of the world, the world that He has conquered.
Experience the peace of the Blessed Trinity:

The unconditional, merciful love of the Father;

The way and the eternal life promised by the Son;

And the truth offered by the Holy Spirit.

It’s all there for us. We need only ask and place ourselves into the divine life of the Trinity, into the hands of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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