"Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid"
John's Gospel obviously displays a much more developed theology then the three synoptic gospels. However, it was still written early in the so-called sub-apostolic time. The remarkable fact is not that there is a strong theological slant to it. Rather it is surprising how relatively early in the history of the early Church a strong Trinitarian perspective has emerged. The trajectory towards Nicea and the other early councils has already been set, thought he elaborate explanations have yet to appear. Associated with God even by the time of St. John are Jesus, and the Father, and the Paraclete, the advocate, the teacher, the protector, the guarantor of the peace that Jesus has given. Already we have hints that God is a community of relationships, that there is so much knowledge and love in God that the knowledge and love explode into distinct personages.
This truth is revealed to test our faith, not to provide theologians with raw material for their speculations (though there is nothing wrong with that), but to dazzle us with the brightness of God's glory, the power of God's knowledge and the passion of God's love. The use of the word "spirit," a translation of the Hebrew word Shekenah hints at a maternal protection in God because the word is feminine in Hebrew - and was used in Hebrew folk religion as the name of Yahweh's consort. St. John had no thought of such matters, yet the gender of the noun might well be part of the meaning "in front of the text."
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time back in the last century there was a young woman from Ireland who had lost her parents and all her family. Some kind people wrote to their relatives in America and said we have this fourteen year old orphan here who is very bright and very pretty and very hard working, We don't want her to go to the orphanage because she won't have any opportunities there to develop her talents. Would you eve consider hiring her as a servant girl. You'd have to pay her way over on the boat, but she'll work for nothing until she earns her fare. You won't go wrong with her.
So the Americans who could afford a serving girl, but never had one and weren't altogether sure what they would do with such a person talked about it and said, well, what have to lose. So they sent the fare for the boat and the train. And waited for the young woman to come. She sailed from Kinsale.
The last she saw of Ireland were the twin spires of the church as they faded into the background. Weeks later, sick and thin and exhausted, she arrived in the city where her master and mistress lived. They took one look at the poor child and said, Dear, we don't need a servant, but we have room for another daughter. When they brought her home the other children hugged her and said, hooray! We have another sister. With their help she grew up to go to college and university and become very successful and was a great credit to those who took her into their family. (The Trinity is a family into which God has invited us).
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
Father Greeley's blog - Read and comment on
new articles directly?
Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
Editorial Review Cover Image
Father Andrew M. Greeley © 1995-2011
All Rights Reserved - Questions & Comments: Webmaster