June 8, 2014

The Holy Spirit

I got caught up in the readings on the way up to Pentecost, especially Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper as it comes to us in John.

"I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26)

To me this is the heart of Christianity; that the love with which you have loved me may be in them. Our communion with the humanity of Jesus Christ draws us into the love of the Father and the Son. And this is what we call the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ reveals that 'God' is not a static 'supreme being' nor a philosopher's abstraction, but a relationship, a Lover and Beloved in the perfect unity of Love. That Love conceives the Beloved in time, within the creation, so that the human creature may also enjoy and be renovated by the creative relationship that is the Father and the Son. This historical event we call Jesus Christ.

As the Spirit conceives Jesus Christ through the loving consent of Mary, so the same Spirit conceives each Christian soul, made Christ-ian by communion with the humanity of Christ, empowered to confess that "Jesus is Lord." (1 Cor 12:3) Just as Christ is raised from the dead, so the Christian gains new life from the Spirit dwelling within, (Rom 8:11) enabling him or her to leave behind selfishness and fear and to "seek the things that are above." (Col 3:1)

The Spirit does all this precisely as the Love of the Father and the Son, drawing the person who consents into the very life of the Blessed Trinity, into the overflowingly creative love from which everything that has being has come.

Each of us is a unique and unrepeatable creation. Since, as we say, 'grace builds on nature,' this means that each of us has the potential of being the bearer of a unique and unrepeatable grace for the world. Indeed, God wills it. St. Paul says as much to the Corinthians: "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." (1 Cor 12:7) Let us then let go of anything that holds us back, and consent to be conceived as Christians, as members of the mystical Body of Christ, that we might become the particular grace God wills and delights for us to be for each other.