Your Greatest Dignity

– Friday Week 4 of Lent –

“I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.”  [John 7:28-30]

To what degree does each of us actually know, let alone trust, the Holy Spirit? It is a question that might appropriately occur to us as we consider how, if and to what degree the Church is being called to respond to that which God is asking of us here and now. ‘What is God asking of us?’ is the question that has guided the Plenary Council process over the last few years, and it can only be addressed with recourse to the Holy Spirit.

Confidence in the action and guidance of the Holy Spirit underscores the opening words of today’s text: “I have not come on my own”. Apart from anything else, we see in this text the beginnings of the theology of the Trinity that would gradually come to full development over the subsequent three or four hundred years. The Father sends the Son in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Three Persons, one God.

However, this is not just about the true nature of God. All the time, Jesus is calling us into his life so that we might live with and in him for eternity. It begins now. Reborn in Christ through baptism and confirmed in this life by the gift of the Holy Spirit, each of us is to be Jesus Christ for the world. This is not as difficult or confronting as it might at first appear. Inviting the life of the Trinity to take up residence in us will allow us to become more ourselves, not less.

In fact, “you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognise our great dignity” (Pope Francis, Rejoice and Be Glad #31).


by Shane Dwyer

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