As a person tries to observe the new commandments by making acts of love through all they say and do, they are gradually able to rise step by step towards journey’s end. Their progress is made possible, because it is made in, with, and through Christ who claimed to be the vital living embodiment of Jacob’s mystical ladder (John1:51). He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life (Jn 14:6). He is the way to our destination, the Truth who both reveals and embodies that destination, and the eternal life that constitutes that destination.
The journey stretches from here to eternity where the traveller finally enters into a profound and ongoing Holy Communion with the One who dwells in the eternal ecstatic joy, that flows from the mystical vortex of loving that constitutes God’s very being. Faith in what is to come, is fortified by hope that is derived from the tangible experience of the love enjoyed in the profound intimate Holy Communion, that has already begun here and now. These gifts are given as the new commandments are put into practice day by day:-
No More Homeless, No More Orphans!
That is why Jesus promised that we would not be left orphans, because through the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son would make their home within us here and now:-
I will not leave you orphans I will come back to you. (Jn 14 :18)
“If anyone loves me he will keep my commandments and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make our home within him.”(John 14:23-24)
Almost 25 years ago I spent Christmas with a family, who had one son who was adored by everyone. However, that Christmas there was another child present who had been semi-fostered. She stayed with the family for some weekends and most of the school holidays. At first the girl looked bewildered and not a little disappointed when she was given her Christmas present from under the tree, for when she unwrapped the parcel all she found was a bundle of papers. Then it was explained to her that they were her papers of adoption. From then on she was a full member of the family. She didn’t need to go back to the orphanage at the end of the holiday. In fact she didn’t need to go back ever again. Tears of joy just rolled down her cheeks, and she ran over to her new Father and hugged and hugged him. He told her they had no choice with their own son, they accepted and loved him just as he came, but she was very special because they had actually chosen her when they needn’t have chosen her at all.
What better gift can anyone receive than a home of their own, a home where there’s love that surrounds and supports them, come what may. That’s what everyone really wants more than anything else. If that home could be guaranteed forever, then that would be the closest thing to heaven on earth. Now that’s the gift that Jesus promised at the Last Supper. It was Jesus himself who first explained how his Father chose to adopt us into his family, so that we’d never be orphans, never ever be alone in this life or the next. That’s why he said, “Make your home in me, as I make my home in you.” (Jn 15: 4). When we begin to accept this invitation we are drawn into the most potent and the most powerful family love ever, that endlessly revolves between the Father and the Son to eternity. What better gift could we ever be given, could we ever even hope for, even in our wildest dreams.
The Spanish Fountain
This new supernatural home resides deep down within the very depth of our being. It is at first like a seed, not in itself, for in itself it is complete, but for us it is like a seed, for the love generated there will only grow and expand to posses our whole being if we choose to nurture it. Then, like a form of spiritual osmosis, this love will begin to rise to infiltrate, not just into our being ,but into our acting too, as Jesus is made flesh and blood again in our flesh and blood. So we will eventually be able to say of ourselves what St Paul said of himself:- “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
St Teresa of Avila likened the working of the Holy Spirit within us to a Spanish fountain. The fresh spring water that rose from deep down within its foundation, represented for her the love generated by the divine indwelling deep down within us. When the water reaches the pinnacle of the fountain, it cascades over and down into three bowls, beginning with the smallest and ending with the largest, that surrounds its stem. The first bowl represents the mind being filled with wisdom and understanding, as the Holy Spirit enlightens it with the knowledge of the Good News of God’s plan for all he has created. This enables believers to see and understand what St Paul called – The Mysterion – God’s secret plan, as it is being implemented within them by the Holy Spirit bringing Christ to birth, as he brought Christ to birth in Mary’s womb. Then the Holy Spirit spills over into the next bowl representing the heart being filled with his love. It is this love that then enables them to be united with the One whom the Holy Spirit is bringing to birth within them. Finally the Holy Spirit who is bringing Christ to birth within, spills over into the third bowl that represents the whole person, body and soul, so that Christ can be fully formed within them and through them, through their love surcharged with his love, reaching out to the world. This is the way God has chosen to bring about the plan, the Mysterion, that he conceived from the beginning of time, to draw all who were conceived in time into the timeless world, where he dwells in endless ecstatic joy. This joy is the fruit of giving and receiving love without any let or hindrance, to all eternity.
Time for Contemplation: – This is an opportunity to pause in silent contemplation for a time, to ruminate on and relish the profound mysteries that are at work deep down within us, and to pray for the gift that will enable us to digest and assimilate their sublime meaning and importance for us now and for our future.
Pause : – To allow these truths to percolate through, to penetrate our hearts and minds, and then gaze for as long as possible at the indescribable mysteries that Jesus came to share with us and in us. This is the time for us to speak with him and to share with him our most secret thoughts and desires. At the Last Supper when Jesus spoke about these sublime truths he repeatedly insisted that this would be the time to ask whatever we wanted and to be assured that our prayers would be answered.