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Meditation of Archbishop Pizzaballa: Most Holy Trinity, Year C

Published: June 13 Thu, 2019

June 16, 2019

MOST HOLY TRINITY, YEAR C

To assist us in entering the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, the Liturgy offers us a passage from the Gospel of John (16:12-15) in which Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit.

In speaking of the Spirit, Jesus gives a glimpse into the relationships that dwell within the Trinity; however, He does not speak only of the Spirit, but He also tells something of Himself and the Father.

And in this regard, the first thing that we come to know is that the Spirit does not speak by Himself but tells everything He has heard (Jn 16:13). It is a significant hint. Within the Trinitarian relations, we live like this: each one is not a single individual, who has himself at the center of his horizon. For this reason, none speaks of Himself, nor by Himself, of what He decides, or thinks, or wants. Each one, on the contrary, does not share and does not give except what He has received.

It must be very pleasing to live like this; able to tell of another and not oneself; able to speak about another, to state what the other thinks, says, wants, desires, realizes.

That is the life of the Trinity: a life in which no one needs to impose oneself because it’s the other who does it for me, to safeguard and guarantee my existence.

The second element is traceable in the possessive adjective “mine”, which in the course of these few verses occurs several times.

That is also an appealing indication because Jesus seems to say that within the Trinity, no one possesses anything definitively. Nothing belongs permanently, “mine” or “yours.”

So, Jesus says that what belongs to the Father it also belongs to the Son; and what is the Son’s is “taken” by the Spirit so that it becomes everyone’s, becomes the disciples’.

In the Gospel of John, this concept returns several times.

For examples, where it says that “Jesus answered them: “My teaching is not my own, bit from Him who has sent me” (Jn 7:16); and further on, it says that “that word that you have heard is not mine, but from the Father Who sent me” (Jn 14:24).

I mean we often find this exchange, this mutual belonging, this exchange, for this reason, it is always tricky to establish what belongs to one or the other. Or rather, from the words of Jesus, it is increasingly clear that the Father and the Son are united by a single life, by a unique plan of salvation for man.

So, Jesus can go so far as to say that whoever sees Him, in reality, has seen the Father (Jn 14:9).

All this means that within the life of the Trinity is essentially a life of love and nothing else.

And in love there is no personal possession from which the other can be left out, there is not private property that enriches one more than another. Otherwise, it would not be love.

Not only do all belong to everyone, but each one belongs entirely to the other and lives for the other.

The good news is that this style of life is not just within the Trinity. The Holy Spirit wants to live in us as the beginning of a life equally lived in love and mutual gift. In that life, there is no longer the need to take possession of anything, because we are all alike and immensely rich by the gift of the other, in what we receive and in what we give.

+Pierbattista