How can we know God?

Jesus revealed to his disciples the great mystery of our faith – the triune nature of God and the inseparable union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus’ mission is to reveal the glory of God to us – a Trinity of persons – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and to unite us with God in a community of love. The ultimate end, the purpose for which God created us, is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the blessed Trinity.

The Jews understood God as Creator and Father of all that he made (Deuteronomy 32:6) and they understood the nation of Israel as God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Jesus reveals the Father in a unheard of sense. He is eternally Father by his relationship to his only Son, who, reciprocally, is Son only in relation to his Father (see Matthew 11:27). The Spirit, likewise, is inseparably one with the Father and the Son.

The mission of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are the same. That is why Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will reveal the glory of the Father and the Son and will speak what is true. Before his Passover, Jesus revealed the Holy Spirit as the “Paraclete” and Helper who will be with Jesus’ disciples to teach and guide them “into all truth” (John 14:17,26; 16:13). In baptism we are called to share in the life of the Holy Trinity here on earth in faith and after death in eternal light.

Clement of Alexandria, a third century chuch father, wrote: “What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos (Word) of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her ‘Church’.”

How can we personally know the Father and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the Father and the Son to us and who gives us the gift of faith to know and understand the truth of God’s word. Through the Holy Spirit, we proclaim our ancient faith in the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until he comes again. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do you seek the wisdom that comes from above and do you willingly obey God’s word?

Jesus’ departure and ascension into heaven was both an end and a beginning for his disciples. While it was the end of Jesus’ physical presence with his beloved disciples, it marked the beginning of Jesus’ presence with them in a new way. Jesus promised that he would be with them always to the end of time. He assured them of his power – a power which overcame sin and death. Now as the glorified and risen Lord and Saviour, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus promised to give them the power of his Holy Spirit, which we see fulfilled ten days later on the Feast of Pentecost (Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:1-4). When the Lord Jesus departed physically from the apostles, they were not left alone or powerless. Jesus assured of his presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ last words to his apostles point to his saving mission and to their mission to be witnesses of his saving death and his glorious resurrection and to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the world. Their task is to proclaim the good news of salvation, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations. God’s love and gift of salvation is not just for a few, or for a nation, but it is for the whole world – for all who will accept it. The gospel is the power of God, the power to forgive sins, to heal, to deliver from evil and oppression, and to restore life. Do you believe in the power of the gospel?

– Don Schwager

In this present moment

The existential philosopher Martin Buber tells the story of the carpenter from Lubin in Poland who had a dream in which he saw a vast treasure reserved for him alone. After years travelling the world to find it, he returned home at the end of his life to find that the treasure had been there all the time beneath his own hearth, where he had warmed himself before the fire each evening. Like him, we can spend a lifetime searching elsewhere for what is here, where we are now, wherever that might be – in this present moment. The love, for which we were created and which Christ came to impart, can only be received here and now in the present moment, and at no other place than where we are. Now is the moment to harness all the time and all the effort, that could be wasted searching elsewhere, to abandon ourselves without reserve to the One, who first promised, and then sent, the love that can make all things new, beginning with ourselves.

The outpourings of the love of God that took place on the first Pentecost day, did not just happen in the past, two thousand years ago, it is happening continually, but we can only receive and experience it here and now in the present moment. We can receive it now, because the baptism that once symbolised our personal reception of the Holy Spirit, is not just an event that once took place in the past, any more than the events that happened on the first Pentecost. They both symbolised that the very personal and infinite love of God, is at this moment and at every moment being transmitted to us here and now, wherever we happen to be.

What happened at his resurrection was that the Jesus, who was once limited by the space and time world in which he had chosen to enter, was limited no more. His resurrection meant, and means now, that the love he received from his Father is continually pouring out to fill all who choose to receive it.

What his love had meant for the first Christians, the love of his Father had meant to Jesus throughout his life on earth. That’s why every moment of every day was the moment when he was opening himself to receive his love in his relentless daily prayer and in the way in which he served those for whom his Father had sent him. There was no moment, therefore, in which he was not open to receive the love of his Father. It was therefore in imitation of him, that the first Christians, did likewise. This enabled them to ensure that every moment of their day would be a moment to receive his love. Then this love would enable them to be drawn up into his continual and abiding presence, so that in, with and through him they would give glory to their Father in heaven, as he did and does now. What they would receive from God in return would enable them to experience something of that glory for themselves, and then show something of that glory to the world in which they lived, as it infiltrated and shone through everything that they said and did, as pure unadulterated goodness.

– David Torkington

Easter time

The celebration of Easter is prolonged throughout the Easter season. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated as one feast day, the “great Sunday.”

The Sundays of this season are regarded as Sundays of Easter and are so termed; they have precedence over all feasts of the Lord and over all solemnities. Solemnities that fall on one of these Sundays are anticipated on the Saturday. Celebrations in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the saints that fall during the week may not be transferred to one of these Sundays.

Intercession should be made in the Eucharistic Prayer for the newly baptized. It is also appropriate that children receive their first communion on one or other of the Sundays of Easter.

This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday, when the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church, and the start of its mission to all tongues and peoples and nations are commemorated.

“It is proper to the paschal festivity that the whole Church rejoices at the forgiveness of sins, which is not only for those who are reborn in Holy Baptism, but also for those who have long been numbered among the adopted children.” By means of a more intensive pastoral care and a deeper spiritual effort, all who celebrate the Easter feasts will, by the Lord’s grace, experience their effect in their daily lives.

Source: The Catholic Liturgical Library