“Called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity” (CCC 260)

Jesus said to his disciples
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him
and make our dwelling with him [monēn par’ auto].” – Jn. 14:23

This is tomorrow’s Gospel opening. It is hard to exaggerate how inconceivable this truth of faith is. This is the deepest mystery of salvation, and it reveals all at once the whole purpose of creation: to create a monēn “permanent dwelling” for God to live in as an infinite divine-human exchange of inconceivably intimate love that is friendship (Jn. 15:15).

The body of the human person – your body — is the end-game of creation. This is really the stunning point of the Prologue of John’s Gospel that begins its poetic narrative with the creation of the world “through the Word” (1:1-3) and then climaxes with the Word becoming flesh and “tenting among us” (1:14). God wants to make the “tent” of the human body his own place, so he can be wed in an eternal covenant union with us, his image.

St. Paul makes the same point in 1 Corinthians 6:19: to sōma hymōn naos tou en hymin Hagiou Pneumatos “the body of-you [is] a temple of the in-you Holy Spirit.” For Paul, once the Incarnation happened, and the Spirit of God came through the crucified-risen Christ at Pentecost to extend the Incarnation in us, the Temple in Jerusalem had served its preparatory purpose. The Temple was only an image of the human body assumed by Christ – our body – and now the REAL temple became the place of God’s dwelling where true worship ‘in spirit and truth’ could bring the whole of creation to its end in God.

Incidentally, the word ‘naos’ that Paul uses in the Greek sentence above refers not just to the Temple ‘in general,’ but to the inner court of the Temple, the Holy of holies, where God’s glory dwells in its most terrifyingly intimate nearness to creation.

In you, right now — if you live in the grace of friendship with God and are joined to Christ in Baptism as his Body — the Most Holy Trinity dwells in you in all Their hidden glory. They are there to seek your companionship, your friendship, your company, your love. You have the vocation, right at this moment, to allow the divine Three to extend Their love and bless the world around you. Prayer is your cosent to that happening. Now. But you are only a Temple when you join, by your love, every other body-temple around you, so that together, as one Body in Christ, humanity might become an eternal Temple — the New Creation.

So St. Paul begs us: be aware of who you are. Beware. Live in the constant awareness of who dwells in you. Allow the words of that ancient author read every Holy Saturday in the Divine Office to sink in, as he permits God to speak to you this very moment:

Now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

Realize this when you next receive the Holy Eucharist. See who you ARE, and become what you receive. It is not the Eucharistic presence of Christ itself that is the end game. Rather, the Eucharist exists to enter into the temple, the Body of Christ that you ARE, to intensify-deepen your capacity to contain the infinite God himself with a love that opens out to every creature so that, through-with-and-in you, God can become all in all. “The God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6).

Let him in, the King of Glory, and then let him out to fill the earth with his glory. Which is cruciform love.

Deep mystery.

4 comments on ““Called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity” (CCC 260)

  1. Jennifer says:

    I selfishly regret not having had the time to soak up and marinate in your posts of late!

    I wanted especially to comment on your post from last weekish – the unchosen — but i will do that here and seguay into how I see that tying into this one. First, the unchosen: That Gospel IS stunning! When I heard it proclaimed, and heard Jesus associate his betrayal with the commencement of his glory being revealed my ears perked up and I was reminded that at the end of John’s Gospel Jesus speaks similar words to Peter about how precisely the first pope would glorify God (see Jn 21:19).

    The road to love and fullness of life is paschal, cross-shaped. That’s it. Also, we are so freaking relational we can’t get around it, can we? Try as we might to consider ourselves islands of strong independence. We are only alive in relationship — he is the vine we are the branches, Dead shrivelled wood lest we are grafted into his life and in turn into the community of others. Even our material existence is impossible without the gift of — and suffering of — other creatures. Yet I keep fighting to hang on to the irrational idea that my own self-directed and self-sustained self-preservation needs to be a priority. Like any of it is true! Ha! But our God invites us to loosen the grip and see who is holding us, loving us into existence and sustaining us in every instant. And that I can let go of myself and lean into that relationship which is the Trinity, and the Body of Christ and the whole of creation.

    You also made a strong point there that Jesus strips down the whole of the Law and the Prophets to two terrifyingly stark, naked commandments: Love God, Love one another as I have loved you. How I’d love to skirt that towering command and look for an elaborate to-do list of good deeds to busy me and excuse me from getting down to the essence of what he commands.

    And now here the drama deepens: “Whoever loves me will keep my word,
    and my Father will love him,
    and we will come to him
    and make our dwelling with him”

    You sagely say: Beware who you are. ACK! Explosive! I remember as a pregnant mom how very careful i was to guard and love that precious love that dwelt in me! Do I consider the life that dwells and longs to grow in me now with this same love and care? Where this ties in with the other post: immediately i thought: Beware who the other is too, that one we struggle to love. Do I recognize the enormous significance of who all these others are? Will I lower my self-preserving defenses to that I can truly see and live into Him and love Him in the precious other thus?

    (And please keep sharing this quote another umpteen times!)

    Someone I love dearly is very, very ill with cancer throughout her body. There is nothing more for medicine to offer. She has had a very, very hard life. Now she is on a beautiful, painful, bittersweet journey of reconciliation and peacemaking and surrender. My heart is broken for her and her children and at the same stunned and overwhelmed by her gratitude for all life has brought her.

    Bruce Cockburn is under my skin this morning:
    These fragile bodies of touch and taste
    This vibrant skin, this hair like lace
    Spirits open to the thrust of grace
    Never a breath you can afford to waste….

    Grant that I may love you Lord, then do with me what you will.

    ❤ you, dear friend

    • Well, if THIS is not a ‘soaking up’ and then dousing us all, I don’t know what is, Jen! Thank you for this reception and far lovelier refraction of what I attempted to say. Soul food! And your dearly beloved, I know those who see this will also pray with you for her. The Cockburn lines are gorgeous.
      Made me think of the TOP cover, https://youtu.be/yw6i1SAHetc
      Thank you for sharing. May she and all of us be open to the thrust of grace.
      Grant it, O Lord.
      Thanks for always taking my work seriously.
      And sharing deeper wells you live near.
      Blessed Day of Resurrection into God

  2. tmm says:

    A stunning post! Just to think, receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at the Holy Liturgy, the Holy Spirit extends the Incarnation in us, mind blowing. Seeing that this facet of the gem, the Incarnation being extended in us, places a responsibility on my shoulders. It’s the spiritual “Mamba Mentality” they will help me more than meet that responsibility. This view takes me deeper, thank you dear Lord for the revelation. For me, witnessing the Epiclesis at each Holy Mass is a marvel. To not be left out and be able to experience the Holy Spirit at work, very appreciative indeed for that moment. We were not present when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Blessed Mary and the Word became flesh, but at the Holy Liturgy we get to witness in our day the Incarnation in a different way. Yes, it’s to “Beware” and may my/our capacity be expanded to contain the Infinite extend beyond our wildest dreams. All for God’s glory and my/our good.

    Let it always be for us a priority, in regards to God’s will
    If we desire this, He will most definitely help us fulfill
    / \ http://gigapostolate.weebly.com tmm/PTL

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