Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
As we continue to listen to Jesus at the Last Supper, we are ushered into the precincts of the hidden and manifest, the seen and unseen, heaven and earth.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.John 14:21
The tradition of the Old Law can be heard in these words, but now obedience is directed to the mediator himself, the new Moses, and his Father. The word he speaks, Jesus tells us, “is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.”
If we put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples, it is not hard to see why Jesus’ words are difficult to fathom. After centuries and centuries of hearing and reciting the laws of the Mosaic covenant, the introduction of a God who has more than one name is unsettling.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.John 14:23
Somehow, in a mysterious way hitherto unknown, persons can dwell in one another—not only divine, but even human persons: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
Closely identifying with our material selves, we have a tendency to act as if we live only on the level of material extension—parts outside of parts, divided. One person occupies a certain amount of space such that another cannot also occupy that space. We are not angels.
What then, is Jesus’ talk of mutual indwelling?
If it is hard enough to contemplate Father and Son, Jesus also introduces “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name.” The concept of “name” helps Jesus to move the disciples toward grasping the reality of distinct persons in one God, the same God who led the Israelites out of the desert and gave the Mosaic law. A name always denotes a distinct “who” or person.
This Holy Spirit “will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26).
An interior teacher! Undivided from us, always available 24/7, dwelling within! What better gift could be promised?