God within        

GOD’S WORD TODAY - Ruben M. Tanseco S.J. -

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him… (From today’s Gospel reading, Jn. 14: 15-21).

The newsletter Connections for April 2008 has an incredible report worth quoting:

“The partners at a huge New York law firm were discussing their most lucrative — and controversial — client: a gigantic chemical company.

“Their billings are in excess of $100 million a year, and they pay like clockwork,” the managing partner began, “but for that, can we justify defending them against polluting rivers and lakes, unlawful toxic dump sites, and emitting poisonous gases into the atmosphere?”

All were silent until the senior partner spoke up. ‘You’re right, entirely right. We shall raise our fees.’”

The height and depth of Godless untruth. And how about our conscienceless rice hoarders during these critical times?! The newsletter continues: “Truth can be very difficult to face up to and accept — obfuscation, rationalization and denial are much easier to deal with than facing the truth about ourselves, our lives, our values, our dreams. The Risen Christ challenges us, in the gift of the ‘Spirit of truth,’ not to approach truth in terms of profit, power, comfort or convention, but to approach truth as how and where God is present in our world.”

And where is God present in our world? For those who are willing to unlearn and really see, God is nowhere else but within you, within me, and within all that He created. “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you” (John 14: 20). The Spirit of truth is God’s omnipresence.

God created me. I belong to Him totally. I am in God and God is in me. God is the one and only meaning of my life. The God of love, compassion, justice, and peace.God is the be-all and end-all of everything. My total dependence on God. God-the-Father over us, God-the-Son among us, and God-the-Holy-Spirit within us. This is the Spirit of truth — the inescapable, overwhelming omnipresence of God that we often tend to hide from. Why? Are we scared to hear what He might say to us? But if we believe that He is the only meaning of our life, then we might as well live meaningful lives rather than die meaninglessly — without God!!

Let us then listen to God-the-Son among us: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4: 34). And what is that? Nothing more and nothing less than to work for the salvation of the world! He then looks at you and me, and we better listen or else.

“As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20: 21). Yes. No but’s and no if’s. You and I are being sent to continue Christ’s mission of salvation of the world through the indwelling of the Spirit. To be Christ’s disciples of love-in-action. The one and only law of God. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Lk. 10: 27; Mk. 12: 30; Mt. 22: 37-39). This is our lifelong mission, challenge, and opportunity. All other rules, regulations, and laws of the institutional Church flow from this.

How, in the concrete, can we live this from day to day? The answer, as inspired by today’s Gospel message, is to develop the spiritual art of AWARENESS, as repeatedly taught by the spiritual guru, Anthony de Mello. Not just a mental concentration on this or that reality, but an inner awareness of everything within you and all around you. This can be threatening, because you may become aware of the Spirit of truth, and this may involve change, which we tend to resist, especially if it involves admitting, “I was wrong”.

But openness to the truth is no less than faith, de Mello insists. An openness to the truth, no matter what the consequences, no matter where it leads you. That is faith. (cf. A. de Mello, Awareness).

As God’s people, let us live by the Spirit of truth, and continually listen to His voice within us, and follow Him, wherever He calls us. Amen.









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