What is the spirit of truth
Sermon by Prior Pascal on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity.
Dear sisters, dear brothers,
When talking one-to-one, we usually think of two people talking to each other about certain topics in a discreetly familiar setting. It's not just about the exchange of information, but also about the personal relationship, how intimately they can talk to each other. Not all topics and topics of conversation are intended for all ears.
When Jesus speaks, very often many ears are listening. Whether in speeches in front of large gatherings of people, in disputes with the Pharisees and scribes or in one-to-one conversations, he tries to arouse the attention of his listeners by also addressing the listening ears of the heart. The woman at Jacob's well, for example, is affected by the one-on-one conversation with Jesus when he meets her at the well while the disciples had gone into the village. It reaches the ear of her heart very quickly, although she is skeptical of him and does not really trust him at first. He speaks to you about your life and names things that correspond to the truth. It both scares and touches them.
Jesus speaks about the spirit of truth in today's gospel. He registers that the ears of his disciples cannot absorb everything that he still wanted to give them on the way before he goes to the Father. “I still have a lot to tell you, but you can't wear it now,” he said. That is why a spirit bearer is needed, who in his place brings the message to you and the whole circle of disciples, who will lead and guide you in the whole truth. This becomes true with the sending of the Spirit after the ascension of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, who is in the same way the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son, as we confess it in the Great Creed: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, who is Lord and gives life to those who proceed from the Father and the Son, who is adored and glorified with the Father ”.
The spirit of truth is one and therefore of the same essence, identical with the creative spirit of the Father and the spirit of the incarnate Son, Jesus. This is guaranteed by the Spirit of Truth and speaks in the same language that the Father and the Son speak. "He will not speak out of himself, but will speak what he hears and tell you what is to come," Jesus clarifies in the Gospel.
Father, Son and Spirit are in direct exchange, nothing remains alien to them or hidden from each other, but rather form an intimate unity, a unified being that unites them and yet allows them to be independent in different people. We call this unified being the Holy Trinity in the three Persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the melting out of the father, as Master Ekkehard calls it, the spirit of the father is melted out as a unified being in his son and also as creative force and constant mover in the breath of life of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, in the incarnate Son of God, Jesus, we can only have the one truth that Jesus himself is, as he himself says: “I am the truth and the life”. And this truth is tied back to the Father. Jesus does not give us the truth so that we can claim it for ourselves. But he takes us by the hand by saying: The Holy Spirit will guide you in my name in all the truth. He also says to Nicodemus elsewhere in John's Gospel: “The wind blows where it wills; you hear its roar, but you don't know where it comes from and where it is going ”. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit ”(cf. Jn 3: 8).
In this way Jesus can take all people by the hand and lead them into the whole truth, just as he wants it and just as people are able to grasp him.
Truth is not a theoretical, philosophical, or ideological concept. Truth is an actual, real fact. It can become very concrete and unintentionally leave traces with enormous effects on life and life history, as the woman at Jacob's fountain, the disciples or the women around Jesus experienced during his death and resurrection or as we have already experienced when the spirit who inevitably spoke the truth in our lives.
Paul, too, met an unforeseeable event in the mirror of truth, which resulted in an abrupt break in his mind. The encounter with Christ removes the blindness from his eyes with which he believed he was a zealot of God. Very slowly he becomes an advocate for the truth of the faith, who frees him from the constraints of the law and transforms his inner being. Paul will go a difficult path as an apostle of the peoples, but he masters the difficult external circumstances through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, through his unity and his inwardness in many a familiar one-to-one conversation.
The outer Paul lives in restlessness, the inner Paul lives from the real feeling of an inner truth, which he fixes in the heart as love. In the reading we heard him speak: “Because we know that tribulation brings about patience, patience but probation, probation hope. For the love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us ”. The path from tribulation to love leads through patience, probation and encouraging hope that there is still a way.
The way of Jesus was determined by unity and unbreakable solidarity with his Father. As he is at home in him and lives in him and is so completely one in love for him, he could freely give his life, because it is the essence of love to give and to give away. That is the essence of St. Trinity. “Where there is love there is a trinity,” says St. Augustine, "a lover, a beloved and a source of love".
What does this mean for us and the source of our love? The source of our love, the lover and the beloved?
Yes - the spirit also wants to show the way of truth in us as a unified being and source of love, although we do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with anyone born of the Spirit - amen.
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