The Intimate Life of the Trinity Made Present in Our Souls
Reading (Acts 16:22-34) Gospel (St. John 16:5-11)
Our Lord, in the Gospel reading today, tells His apostles that they are filled with grief because He told them that He is leaving. Yet, at the same time, He turns around and says, In truth, it is better for you that I go; otherwise, the Advocate will not come. We recognize that this is the truth because prior to that Jesus was with them just as we are with one another; that is, He was among them but He was not within them. He was there physically but He was not within. And when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and filled their hearts, then the Lord was present within.
Recall that one Person of the Trinity cannot be alone without the other two because outside of the immanent Trinity itself God operates according to His substance. So wherever one Person of the Trinity is, all Three are present. When the Holy Spirit descended and filled their hearts, Jesus, as well as His Father, in fulfillment of the promise that He made which we read in John 14: If anyone loves Me, My Father will love him and We will come to him and We will tabernacle within him, came to dwell within His apostles not just among them, but within them. This is why it is better that He left. He was there as the Teacher of truth among His apostles, but now the Advocate or the Consoler, the Counselor, the Paraclete, whatever you want to call Him the Holy Spirit was now given to lead them into all truth. Jesus is the truth; therefore, the Holy Spirit came to lead us into the fullness of Jesus Christ. And where we are going to find that is right within our own hearts because it is in our own hearts that Our Lord resides. So the fullness of truth is present, and the Holy Spirit has come to lead us to that truth.
When we consider what happens in Holy Communion, it is exactly the same thing because we receive the substance of Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. The substance of the bread and wine is changed into the substance of the Lord. And so while we receive His humanity, we receive also His divinity. The same principle, as I mentioned a few moments ago, is present as well. One Person of the Trinity cannot be someplace without the other two; therefore, because we receive the very substance of God Himself, we receive all three Persons, so all are present within. They make our souls Their dwelling place. They love one another within us; everything divine is happening within our own hearts. So we need simply to enter into that place to be united with God.
And wherever Jesus is, Our Lady is there. Our Lady, who is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, loves and is being loved by each one of the three Persons right within our own hearts. So as she loves each of them, we are called to as well. We are invited into the intimacy of the Most Holy Trinity, into that intimate union with God. Of course, the fullness of that will only be when we get to Heaven, when we will see him face-to-face and we will be part of that intimate life of the Trinity in its fullness. Here we do not see, yet the reality is present and we are all invited into the midst of that.
This is why it was better that the Lord would go. It is one thing to be able to come and look at Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in adoration, but how much greater to receive Him in Holy Communion. The necessity of prayer is there, but even to come before Him in prayer pales in comparison to being able to receive Him in our souls and to unite ourselves with Him in love. We have the opportunity to do both because with the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who comes upon the bread and wine to change them into the very Body and Blood of Christ, the Lord enters into us and we enter into Him and into that intimate life of the Holy Trinity, in the heaven that God makes of our souls so that we can be one with Him to prepare ourselves for eternity because it begins now through the faith that we have in Christ and through our union with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.