Sun, 5/17/20: "I will not leave you orphans"
Updated: May 21, 2020
Sunday's Readings can be found: [HERE].
In our gospel passage (Jn. 14:15-21), Jesus tells his disciples: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." The context of these consoling words is the news that he will ask the Father, and the Father will send them the Holy Spirit.
The mission of the Holy Spirit in this world is to make Christ present. If we look closely at any and all of the sacraments, Christ becomes present in some way through the Holy Spirit. He would appear differently to the disciples after his resurrection, true. But the reality of his real presence among them is not diminished by any appearance.
In a mystical way, Jesus would truly remain present in and with the disciples. Time and again throughout this last supper, repeated here in this passage, Jesus promises to be with them: "I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you."
With the words of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift that God offers us freely becomes more and more apparent. It was hinted at throughout all of his ministry, but the explicit claim to it before the Sanhedrin (cf. Mark 14:62) led directly to his death: union of the divine and human nature in the Person of Jesus Christ.
And as crazy at it might seem from a worldly perspective, Jesus invites us to share in that divinity.
"The Son of God became man so that we might become God," to quote Saint Athanasius.
""The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods," to quote St. Thomas Aquinas.
Saint Peter, himself, would say the Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature" (cf. 2 Peter 1:4).
"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God," to quote Saint Irenaeus.
All of those previous quotes can also be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 460.
Incidentally, there's a point in the Mass where the priests prays "sotto-voce": "By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity" (from the Roman Missal).
But this divinity to which mankind is called is not man's by nature, but by adoption. To quote Blessed Isaac of Stella (incidentally, this was the second reading for the 5th Friday of Easter Office of Readings, celebrated a couple of days ago): "What Christ is by his nature we are as his partners; what he is of himself in all fullness, we are as participants. Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, his members are by adoption, according to the text: As sons you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba, Father.
This calling leads to certain implications for the disciple, which we will discuss in tomorrow's reflection. May God bless you.
Michelangelo's, The Creation of Adam: retrieved from: [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Creación_de_Adám.jpg