7th Sunday of Easter
Whenever we hear Jesus, God the Son, speaking about God the Father, or, as in todays Gospel speaking to God the Father, we nearly always hear words like gift, giving, received, sent, shared.
Though human words are always inadequate to speak of God - Jesus’ words give us a way to approach the mystery of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. To be able to think about God in a way which can help our prayer and meditation, help us to lift our hearts and minds to God. From all eternity, without beginning, God the Father gives himself to God the Son, you could say that that is what God the Father is, the perfect, eternal gift of love. And this gift of love is the gift of everything that God the Father has and is. You could say God the Son exists because of the gift of God the Father, he is begotten by the Father. God the Son receives this gift, the gift of the Father, with love and gratitude and returns it with love, so that between the Father and Son is the eternal giving and receiving of divine love. All the different types of love that exist within marriage and the family, a father giving life to his Son, a mother giving everything to her child, a husband and wife giving themselves to each other in love, all these expressions of human love point to the divine love at the heart of God.
It helps us understand something of God the Holy Spirit as we move towards Pentecost. The gift of God the Father to God the Son is the gift of everything the Father has, including his Divinity. It is, literally the Gift of God, the gift that is God. Receiving this gift God the Son returns it to the Father. The Gift they share, the gift that is the unity between then, the gift that is their love, is God, God the Holy Spirit.
Now that by his Ascension Jesus has taken our human nature into the heart of the Blessed Trinity, each of us who through Baptism and the Sacraments are united to Jesus are able to share in the giving and receiving of love at the heart of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other words, we can now receive the Holy Spirit.
We have so to speak one foot in heaven. As the Father loves the Son, the Son loves us and we are invited to share in that love. We are part of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. St John puts it succinctly in the letter we just read “as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us. We can know we are living in Him and He is living in us because he lets us share His Spirit”.