The Spirit of Truth

Scripture       John 16: 12-15


                 When the Spirit of truth comes,

               he will guide you into all the truth;

                for he will not speak on his own,

                        but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you

                     the things that are to come.”




The Gospel today begins with this phrase: “I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you to bear now”. In these words of Jesus there are two things to ponder: first of all there is the environment of the farewell, which characterized the Last Supper, and secondly, the concern of Jesus, for his disciples, who within a brief time will remain without his presence. The time left was very short. Within a short time, Jesus knows he will be arrested and crucified. The work begun was not yet complete. The disciples were just at the beginning of their apprenticeship. Three years are a very short time to change life and to begin to live and to think in a new image of God. Their formation was not yet finished. Much was still lacking and Jesus had still many things to teach them and to transmit to them, but he knows his disciples. They are not among the most intelligent, but their hearts are sincere. They would not be capable to know now all the consequences and implications of discipleship. They would become discouraged. They would not be able to bear this. Such sensitivity and empathy is communicated in these farewell discourses.


The Holy Spirit will come to their help. “However, when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking of his own accord, but will say only what he has been told; and he will reveal to you the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he reveals to you will be taken from what is mine”. This affirmation of Jesus shows the experience of the first communities. In the measure in which they sought to imitate Jesus, trying to interpret and apply his Word to the various circumstances of their life, they experienced the presence and the light of the Spirit offering them courage and guidance. And this happens even today in  our communities when we try to incarnate the Word of Jesus into our lives. The root of this experience is the words of Jesus: “Everything the Father has is mine that is why I said: all he reveals to you will be taken from what is mine”.



But now that he is going away from them, he speaks of "these things" now so that his followers might know: Jesus is "going away," but will also continue to abide - not with, but within his followers - as love. Jesus speaks to us about his intense commitment of abiding, continuing, present love, loyalty, protection, guidance, bonding with his followers then - and now - and always.  And also by a new presence, the Spirit of Truth.  Jesus still has many more things to say, but his followers cannot bear them now - presumably because of their grief, confusion, and fear. However, at a later time, when they are ready to bear what else Jesus has to say, when that time comes, the Spirit of Truth will come and - just as Jesus has done while he was with them - the Spirit of Truth will guide them into all the truth.



They will recognize this Spirit, and be able to tell it apart from false or evil spirits (even ones that pretend to be the true spirit), because the Spirit of Truth will repeat only whatever she/he hears: "take what is mine and declare it to you." This is to say, the Spirit of Truth will be as loyal as Jesus, and therefore worthy of the same honour, trust, and obedience. Discernment of spirits is such a comforting gift of the Spirit that becomes a 'way of life' for many contemplative souls. And how we need to hear that Spirit of Truth in these days as so many competing voices in our media attempt to shatter and drown out the beautiul "still small voice of God" ... that resounds in peace and clarity in our innermost depths of being.  



What a farewell gift! Whatever else we may try to say about the Trinity, one thing that cannot be overemphasized is the unity of purpose, loyalty, bonding. The Trinity exemplify the quality of relationship that Jesus is seeking to be in with all his followers. May we all be one. I in you and you in me. May we be completely one.


Carrying Grace           


                 The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions.

  With interior yearning, grace and blessing are bestowed.

  It is a yearning to take on God's gentle yoke.

  It is a yearning to give one's self to God's way.

                  - Hildegard of Bingen



#5 arletteh 2010-06-10 14:41
Thank you, mark and Elizabeth-Angel a for your insights and experiences!.An other insight into the Trinity that really freed me was:!as mmark note, :Creator God--the unspeakable immensity of creation- God as Creator of that Diversity, 2) God the Son as having and pioneering for us a personal identity,lived out as Love . The Spirit as Unifier ,we see that as Love .Am just getting into the Womwen Mystics of the Middle ages--God within--Thanks
#4 Betty Mellon 2010-06-02 17:23
Trinity Sunday’s reading presented a precious gift for me with the message that Jesus abides within me “as love.” Inside of a few days, I seemed bombarded with endless updated information arising from changes being implemented which will inevitably affect my work environment. The good news impacted me with “the Spirit of Truth will guide them into all the truth.” In the midst of information overload, suddenly I felt deeply comforted with the words, “And how we need to hear that Spirit of Truth in these days as so many competing voices in our media attempt to shatter and drown out the beautiful ‘still small voice of God’ … that resounds in peace and clarity in our innermost depths of being.” With this awareness mysteriously the profound wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen captures me in Jesus abides within me as love and I openly yearn to take on God’s gentle yoke along the path of God.
#3 Mark Dickinson 2010-06-02 16:18
.. he is our guide, our example and our destiny. Our mission then becomes: to be whole, to be truth, to be one. Becoming Human then becomes ... becoming as Jesus.
#2 Mark Dickinson 2010-06-02 16:17
We can also think of Trinity as a defining concept behind our understanding of God: spend a moment contemplating the following: God as ....
i) the Source of Life [God as Creator]
ii) the Foundation of Love [God seen in the life and message of Jesus]
iii) the Mystery of Truth [God as Holy Spirit].
When we step beyond the realm of God as 'Supreme Being' who plays with the world (universe) as a chessboard of good vs bad, we can begin to see, and feel, the Presence of God in all that we do and experience. In the beauty of creation, the love behind compassion & self-sacrifice, and the mystery that transcends the physical & reaches outward (and onward) to eternity. "The Spirit of Truth" calls to each one of us ... be all you can be, love with all your being, and be present in the lives and experiences of others. We are called to walk in the Way of Jesus, to Love with the heart of Jesus, and to sacrifice with the selflessness of Jesus. Truth speaks to us to be as Jesus .. he is our guide, our example and our destiny. Our mission then becomes: to be whole, to be truth, to be one. Becoming Human then becomes ... becoming as Jesus.
#1 arletteh 2010-05-31 00:52
"The Spirit of Truth " stands out for me:the SPIRIT of truth for me is that I(we) must continually be ready to change my perception of truth. I am intrigued by the words in Wisdom 7,speaking of Wisdom(or Spirit):"--wisd om is more mobile than any motion;because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates ALL things.For she is a breath of the power of God,and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty"(vs. 24-25).

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