Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

(Acts 14:5-18; John 14:21-26)

Western theology speaks a lot of grace.  It is famous for describing how grace transforms the human person to love unselfishly.  Eastern theology is more effusive about divine indwelling.  Although its effects are similar to those of grace, its implications are more suggestive.  Divine indwelling is the presence of the Holy Trinity within the person.  It fills the person like ecstatic music moving her to do beautiful things.  The Greek Fathers of the Church had no qualms in stating that this indwelling divinizes the person.  In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of coming with the Father and the Holy Spirit to dwell within those who keep his commandments.

One woman after raising her family and burying her husband dedicated herself to her church community.  Assisting in the parish office, she knew everyone within the community.  When the neighborhood began to change both economically and racially, she remained a resident for many years.  She became acquainted with her new neighbors and participated in the newly formed block club.  She kept Jesus’ commandments to believe in him and to love another.  Perceptive people could notice the indwelling of Father, Son, and Spirit in her.

All of us probably have met people like this woman in whom God dwells.  They are observant but always kind.  They pursue justice in ways we hardly imagine without making us uncomfortable.  They do not make much of themselves but bring out the best in us.  We should be imminently grateful for these vessels of God in our midst.