The Gospel read at Mass on Sunday, Trinity Sunday, had Jesus confess a certain reticence in speaking with his disciples, mindful of their capacity to hear and respond.
‘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.’
The many things Jesus had to say may have included matters that we now consider doctrine – about his relationship with the Father, and the Holy Spirit; about the threeness and the unity of the One God. But surely they would also have included things particular to the disciples themselves and their struggle to live faithfully.
Those truths, words of advice and guidance are still being spoken as we hear the Lord in scripture, and the promptings of the Spirit, speaking to us of what comes next in Salvation History. We might find it easier to listen to teaching about doctrine! For these other words call us to change and renewal, so that we may be more alive in Christ; so that we might live more to the glory of God, Father, Son and Spirit.
Detail from window in St Mary Magdalene Church, Albrighton. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.