A Homily – The Gospel of John 16:12-15 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.05.22


The Spirit of Truth


Jesus said:


‘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.’



A Witness to God

This Gospel reading comes to us on a day known as The feast of the Most Holy Trinity.

What can be said about it.

Christianity has, for 1,700 years, professed a belief in God, the creator of the universe, that is “Trinitarian.”

Christianity asserts on the one hand, that there is but one God, one creator, one center of all reality; on the other hand that God is three distinct person.

Christians have always pointed to such passages as this in John to justify this claim, and yet there is no logic in this claim. The arguments for a Trinitarian God are absurd on their face.

The notion that there is a rationale for such a faith claim in this passage of John is also a claim without basis.

To the first part:

The Trinitarian God has three persons; the father, the son, and the spirit. They are all three, uncreated and co-eternal, omnipresent and omniscient, and omnipotent. There are co-extensive in all of their attributes, where any part of the Godhead exists (which is in all times, and all places) the fullness of God exists. Finally, while Christian doctrine asserts faith in a Trinitarian God, it will not admit that in the Godhead there is any division, distinction, or differentiation. Christians have always acknowledged the logical fallacy of such a position, but have sidestepped the implication by asserting that it is a mystery, and that the believer must trust that it is so. Furthermore, Christians formed a creed around this belief, which is in effect a litmus test for all of those who wish to enter the church, and, or be in sacramental union with it.


To the second part:

Far from pointing to the unity of three persons in the Godhead; the narrative in john speaks to the distinctions and differences in the figures of the father, and the son, and the spirit. It speaks of the son as an agent of the father, and the spirit of truth as a figure commissioned by the son to continue the education of the believing community.

It is all very arcane, and it does little to illuminate the central message of Jesus’ teaching; to love one another, as God has loved us.

Our faith in God, the loving God who created and sustains all that is, and our faith in the son-ship of Jesus, cannot be forced to be dependent on our acceptance of these absurdities.

God is one, God is one in Christ, and God is one in all of us.

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


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