One of the most beautiful, consoling, encouraging, and profound concepts in all of our holy Catholic faith is what we call the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in our souls, minds, hearts, and bodies.
In today’s gospel, Saint Jude asks Jesus at the Last Supper if he plans to reveal himself to the apostles but not to the world. Our Lord answers with this marvelous truth: “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.” Then he adds: “The Advocate—the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Remember in the Old Testament, when the prophet Isaiah was predicting the coming of a Savior, he said, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and he will be called ‘Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’” So in some sense God would be with his people when the Savior came. But how? The people of old could not possibly have known how deeply, beautifully, truly, that prophecy would be fulfilled. First, one of the Three Divine Persons would become a man, a human being. This had never even been dreamed of, let alone accomplished. Then, the three divine Persons (of whom the people of old knew nothing) would come and dwell within the souls, bodies, minds, and hearts of people of good will as in a tabernacle or the great temple in Jerusalem. And then, even more, the Savior would come to his people in the form of bread and wine so that they would truly eat his flesh and drink his blood. God is with us to a degree that we cannot really fathom at all.
Even though we can’t fully understand these things, at least we can know them, love them, appreciate them, and enter into a deeply loving and intimate relationship with our Indwelling God. We don’t have to look for God up in the heavens or only in our churches; he is within us. We can turn within and find him in the depths of our hearts and minds and persons. We are ourselves living, loving tabernacles, where God is happier to dwell than in any inanimate tabernacle or church or temple. Buildings cannot “love back.” We can. We can reciprocate his love for us. We can make of ourselves men and women of prayer, adoration, thanksgiving, love, petition for others. As the incense placed in the thurible sends up fragrant smoke before the altar, so all that enters into our lives can be turned by our love of God into praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.