23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 6th September 2015

God Makes His Home in Us

Jesus in his heartfelt farewell to his apostles. assures them, among other things, that they will see him again, because he will reveal himself to those who love him. Then Judas (not Iscariot) asks him why he intends to reveal himself only to them and not publicly. Judas was hoping for a huge outward manifestation of Jesus, one that could change the course of history and that, in his view, would be more effective in saving the world.  In  fact,  the apostles  all  thought  Jesus was the long-awaited prophet of the last days who would reveal himself to everyone as the King of Israel, and establish the kingdom of the Lord once and for all.

Jesus explains that instead, his revelation will not take place in a spectacular and outer way. It will be a simple but extraordinary 'coming' of the Trinity into the heart of the faithful person, occurring wherever there is faith and love.

“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father  will  love  them,  and  we  will  come  to them and make our home with them.”

There is no need to wait  for the future.  The temple that welcomes him is not so much one of bricks and mortar, but the very heart of the Christian, which becomes the new tabernacle, the living dwelling place of the Trinity.

But how can a Christian achieve this? How can we bear God within ourselves? What is the way of entering this deep communion with him?

It is love for Jesus. A love that is not mere sentimentality but translated into concrete life and, specifically, into keeping his words.

It  is  to  this  love  of  a  Christian,  verified  by deeds, that God responds with his love: the Trinity comes to dwell within.

' ... keep my word'.  What are the words that the

Christian is called to keep?

In John's  Gospel,  'my words' often mean the same as 'my commandments'. So the Christian is called to keep Jesus' commandments. But these should not be viewed as a list of laws. Rather they should be understood as summed up in what  Jesus  illustrated  through  washing his disciples' feet: the commandment of mutual love. God commands each Christian to love the other to the point of complete self-giving,  as Jesus taught and did.

How can we reach the point in which the Father himself will love us and the Trinity will come to dwell within us?

By putting into practice with all our hearts, radically and with perseverance, precisely this kind of love for one another.

 

A commentary on a sentence from the Scripture

by Chiara Lubich