by Fr. Jack McArdle
If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. (John 12:44)
Although we joke about God being a hoary old man in the sky, complete with white flowing beard, there are people who still retain this image. Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. He was very definite in portraying a Father of great love, and of constant loving care; a Father who ran to meet and hug the Prodigal Son, or who provides food for the birds of the air, and for the lilies of the field. Jesus spoke a language of love, forgiveness, and of family, and he told us that he never said anything unless the Father told him (John 8:28). "They who hear me hear the Father," Jesus said (John 14:24).
Some people listen to what Jesus has to say, and they find his words very reassuring; but they still cling to the idea of there being some other kind of God, who will be there waiting for them when they die. There seems to be a real problem in accepting this package deal, if I may call it that, where there is only one voice speaking for all three Persons in the Trinity. Jesus said what the Father told him, and the Spirit would remind us of what Jesus had said. They would speak with one voice, because they were united in love, and there could never be conflict or double-speak between them.
Jesus came to us with a mission from the Father. The terms of reference of that mission were clearly defined, just as it would be when passed on to his followers to complete, at a later date. The gospels can be summarized in one sentence: God loves me, and in one word: Father. The Father was speaking to us through his Son Jesus. If we accept Jesus, we accept the Father, and if we reject Jesus, we reject the one who sent him. "They who hear me, hear the Father," Jesus tells us (John 14:24). "Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father……Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?…… Anyone who hates me hates my Father also…" (John 14:9).
In other words, Jesus and the Father are inseparable. That is why it is important that, when we think of Jesus, that we do so in the context of the Trinity. Jesus is making this promise on behalf of the Trinity. This means that if I trust Jesus, I am also trusting the Spirit. Notice that this translation reads "If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me." My trust is in God in totality, Father, Son, and Spirit. This trust draws me into the life of the Trinity, and, as Jesus said, he, the Father, and the Spirit will come and make their home in such a heart. This is a wonderful promise because it makes it possible for me to share in the life of the divinity. What a privilege for us mere humans!
Spirit and breath of God, you are the loving whisper of the Trinity, who has come to complete the work of Jesus, now that he has returned to the Father. I ask you, please, to sharpen the scope of my spiritual vision, so that I can embrace the Trinity in all my dealings with God. I want to avail of all that Jesus made possible, and I depend on you to bring that to completion within me. It is absolutely OK to approach the Trinity in the way that is most meaningful for me.
There are times when I feel that I am more open to Jesus; at other times, I find that I can turn with great ease to the Spirit; and yet again, there are occasions when I find it easier to speak to God as my Father. It makes no difference whatever, because no matter which way I pray, I am coming face to face with the Trinity. It may help to develop my trust in Jesus, and then to develop that trust to include the Father and the Spirit. If I accept and act on this promise, my spiritual life will be greatly enriched. Like any other promise, this bears fruit only when I accept it, believe it, and act on it.
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Jesus Said It! copyright © Fr. Jack McArdle/Holy Spirit Interactive. All rights reserved.