Holy Trinity Sunday, Year C



John 16:12-15
Holy Trinity Sunday
Analysis by Glenn L. Monson

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

DIAGNOSIS: The Truth that Kills

Step 1: Initial Diagnosis (External Problem): Truth We Cannot Bear

We are sure that we can do all things. “What do you mean, ‘we cannot bear’ anything you might want to say to us, Jesus? We are able. We are strong. We are self-sufficient.” As far as we’re concerned, the truth is, we are self-made, and we are out to prove it.

Step 2: Advanced Diagnosis (Internal Problem): Seeing Is Believing

We don’t need any old Spirit of truth to guide us into all the truth. Our grasp of the truth is complete. We have the whole truth about God, humanity, and this world, and furthermore, our view of the truth is what we are inclined to trust. We walk by sight, not this faith foolishness that St. Paul preaches. That’s a little too risky for us.

Step 3: Final Diagnosis (Eternal Problem): The Truth that Kills

Because we are so strong and so able, so wise and so discerning, we are not open to hearing what the Father has to say to us. The truth that the Father discloses and the truth about the things to come are not something we are able to hear. Our pride makes us deaf and blind. In our hubris we die.

PROGNOSIS: The Truth That Makes Alive

Step 4: Initial Prognosis (Eternal Solution): The Truth that Gives Life

The Whole Truth is that God knows that we are wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. Christ comes as the Word from the Father and declares the Truth which finally breaks through our willful blindness. Christ comes and shows us on the Cross the truth about God’s unfathomable love for the world, and there what we truly are is declared to us: we are beloved of God, even in our hubris. We are beloved even in our ignorance. We are beloved of God, because God is love.

Step 5: Advanced Prognosis (Internal Solution): Believing Is Seeing

We are learning to trust that truth that God has declared. We now walk by faith and not sight. We now hold our own truth humbly and live with open hearts and minds to all God has to show us.

Step 6: Final Prognosis (External Solution): A Truth We Can Bear

We are clear about our own weakness, but knowing that the Word of Christ dwells in us richly, we declare the truth of God’s love to all we encounter. We bear the light of Christ to the world. This truth about God’s love in Christ is something we joyfully bear.