Jesus said to his disciples:John 16:12-15
‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
All he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.’
This Gospel passage occurs at the Last Supper shortly before Jesus’ arrest and it reveals his awareness that the disciples will have difficulty in comprehending the significance of all that is about to transpire. Knowing that “his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father” (Jn 13:1) Jesus uses the occasion of his last meal to model service, give a discourse which summarises his core teachings and to reveal his identity as “the way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
The disciples of John’s Gospel grapple with the mystery of Jesus’ true identity, his humanity and divinity, therefore he comforts them in the knowledge that “when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth.” The complete truth is of course that Jesus was the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Second Person of the Trinity. At the very heart of truth is God himself.
Although conscious of the fact that his disciples were still discerning his identity, Jesus wanted their minds to be opened to the Triune God. Just as he was a source of God’s revelation, so too would be the Spirit “since he will not be speaking from himself, but will only say what he has learned.” Furthermore, Jesus reveals that the Spirit will act as a guide to the disciples and the future Church for the Spirit will tell them “of things to come.“
Like the disciples, we will never fully grasp the mystery of the Trinity. We can rest assured however in the promise of Jesus that an advocate will come to help us, and this advocate will be the Spirit of Truth. Like the disciples, we are helped and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, who continues to reveal to us the mystery of the Trinity.
So that our eyes, ears and hearts are opened to the One True God may we continue to pray:
O Blessed Trinity, one and three, fill me with your presence so that I may live and love with you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
Director, Mission & Identity