Daily Reading & Meditation
Scripture: John 16:12-15
12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Meditation: How can we know God personally and grow in our understanding of his wisdom, truth, and love for us? Jesus made a claim which only God can make - he knows all things - the present and the past, as well as the future. Jesus not only claims to speak the truth, he calls himself the very source of truth when he proclaims that he is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Now Jesus promises to send his disciples the Spirit of truth who will guide them in understanding all that Jesus came to say and do! Jesus tells his disciples that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal what is true. It is through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens our hearts and minds, that we come to understand that the Godhead is a trinity of persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
One Father, One Son, and One Holy Spirit perfectly united
The Jews understood God as Creator and Father of all that he made (Deuteronomy 32:6) and they understood Israel (the promised son and his heirs) as God's firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Jesus reveals the true nature of God the Father in an unheard of sense. He is eternally Father by his relationship to his eternal and only-begotten Son, who, reciprocally, is Son only in relation to his Father (see Matthew 11:27). The Spirit, likewise, is inseparably one with the Father and the Son. Jesus reveals the triune nature of God and the inseparable union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The mission of Jesus and the Spirit is one
The mission of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are the same - to reveal the glory of God and to share that glory with us by uniting us in a community of love with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will reveal the glory of the Father and the Son and will speak what is true. Before his Passover, Jesus revealed the Holy Spirit as the 'Paraclete' and Helper who will be with Jesus' disciples to teach and guide them "into all the truth" (John 14:17,26; 16:13). The ultimate end, the purpose for which God created us, is the entry of God's creatures into the perfect unity of the blessed Trinity. In baptism we are called to share in the life of the Holy Trinity here on earth in faith and after death in eternal light.
Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD), an early church father and teacher at the catechetical school in Alexandria, wrote: "What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos (Word) of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her 'Church'."
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, unites us with the Father
How can we personally know the Father and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the Father and the Son to us and who gives us the gift of faith to know and understand the truth of God's word. Through the Holy Spirit, we proclaim our ancient faith in the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until he comes again. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do you seek the wisdom that comes from above and do you eagerly listen to God's word and obey it?
"May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages." (prayer of Origin, 185-254 AD)
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You whose glory above the heavens is chanted
2 by the mouth of babes and infants,you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have established;
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him little less than God, and crown him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, by Hilary of Poitiers (315-367 AD)
"John tells us that all things came into being through the Son who is God the Word abiding with you, Father, from the beginning. Paul in his turn enumerates the things created in the Son, both visible and invisible, in heaven and on earth. And while he is specific about all that was created in and through Christ, of the Holy Spirit he considers it enough simply to say that he is your Spirit.Therefore I concur with those chosen men in thinking that just as it is not expedient for me to venture beyond my mental limitation and predicate anything of your only-begotten Son except that, as those witnesses have assured us, he was born of you, so it is not fitting for me to go beyond the power of human thought and the teaching of those same witnesses by declaring anything regarding the Holy Spirit other than that he is your Spirit. Rather than waste time in a fruitless war of words, I would prefer to spend it in the firm profession of an unhesitating faith.
"I beg you therefore, Father, to preserve in me that pure and reverent faith and to grant that to my last breath I may testify to my conviction. May I always hold fast to what I publicly professed in the creed when I was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May I worship you, the Father of us all, and your Son together with you, and may I be counted worthy to receive your Holy Spirit who through your only Son proceeds from you. For me there is sufficient evidence for this faith in the words 'Father, all that I have is yours, and all that is yours is mine,' spoken by Jesus Christ my Lord who remains, in and from and with you, the God who is blessed for endless ages. Amen." (excerpt from ON THE TRINITY 12.55-57)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.
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