Inspired by the divine community
In the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the community is inspired and strengthened by knowledge and love. Peter Gallagher SJ reflects.
When the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you into the complete truth (John 16.13). Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will give us the knowledge we need to share the life of God. That divine knowledge has sustained the community of the disciples of Christ since the very beginning. We have been enabled to come to know a God who is one and who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The united community of believers is inspired to know God who is one and also a community.
Faith, hope and love
The driving force for the acquiring of this wonderful knowledge of God is love. The love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5.5). This love prompts us to live the knowledge we have received. God reveals himself to us in his unity and in his three Persons and we find ourselves strengthened for the troubles of life. We try to endure gracefully the suffering that comes. We do so in the well-founded hope that such a trial is an instrument of grace to equip us to share the divine life.
The life of the triune God is shared with us disciples of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. I still have many things to say to you (John 16.12). The Lord goes on communicating with us, through the Spirit, all through our life of faith. Jesus speaks to us about joy and suffering. He teaches us about faith, hope and love. The love of the three Persons for each other is the source of the love which drives us to want to know God and to live as he directs and enables. It is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace (Romans 5.2). The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are strengthening us all the time for what the life of faith will demand of us. This life includes the deepening of our knowledge, the more graceful endurance of our suffering and an even more wholehearted giving of glory to God.
The Father through the Spirit has already glorified the Son. The community of believers also gives glory. We look forward to God’s glory (Romans 5.3). Meanwhile we glorify him in our worship, in our life of love and service and in our hope of living forever with him. Glory be to the Father we pray, with complete trust; and to the Son, we add, with all our gratitude for what the Lord has done for us; and to the Holy Spirit, we conclude, with a faith conferred which is bringing us closer and closer to God.
As it was in the beginning. It was for the life of faithful communion with the Holy Trinity that we were made in the first place. The same knowledge of the divine purposes which the Holy Spirit is sharing with those who believe in Jesus underpins the whole of creation. The life of God, one and three, has overflowed into a creation for which we continually give thanks. We give glory to God for what he has done, for what he is doing and for what he will do. All our hope is focused on him and his loving kindness.
Towards thorough understanding
Nothing could be more serious than our hope of sharing forever in the divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We know that such an outcome would be the fulfillment of a plan made by God from the very beginning. Our experience teaches us also that the unfolding of that plan, in which our hope is not deceptive (Romans 5.4). has a substantial share of the suffering, patience and perseverance already mentioned. Yet the wisdom of God exercises itself playfully as well as seriously, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in the world. Divine creation like divine community is full of joy. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit delight in each other. Their delight is evident in what they have created, notwithstanding the suffering that there is and the sadness which can afflict us who contemplate the works of God without, as yet, complete understanding.
The Holy Spirit will lead you into the complete truth (John 16.13). We are being led in the direction of thorough understanding. We proceed strengthened by grace, sustained by hope and giving glory to God. We thank the triune God for everything, the things which delight us and those which challenge us. The divine wisdom and knowledge are enlightening us all the time. Humbly we acknowledge the limits of our understanding. With faith and trust we try to live to the full the life which the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have revealed as their eternal will for us. We have been called to this life and we give thanks for it.
Peter Gallagher SJ