Those chosen by Jesus to be his witnesses in the beginnings of the Church shared with others their experience with him. Jesus has been using their contribution, handed down through the generations as Apostolic Tradition and Sacred Scripture, to raise up from among us people who will believe without seeing. Part of their testimony was the profession of faith in the Most Holy Trinity.
They did not make use of “Trinity” or of doctrinal propositions the Church would later formulate—not without dissension and debate—in order to deepen and make exact their knowledge. They had more than knowledge. They were endowed with wisdom, soul (like in soul music): their knowledge resulted from their living with Jesus; they likewise lived according to their knowledge, as they were of one heart and mind, and had everything in common.
So then basically, it was enough for the early Christians to live with Jesus—a stumbling block, foolishness and weakness to the worldly, but to those who are called, the power and wisdom of God. Devoted to their Teacher who spoke of only one God, they accepted the clarification, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” as well as the promise, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate.” They considered as trustworthy saying the assertion that peoples reconciled through Christ have access through him to the Father in one Spirit, and that those baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, make up one body.
These early witnesses were not like those who took offense upon hearing, “The Father and I are one.” Nor were they like those who refused to give credit to the Holy Spirit for Jesus’ exorcisms. These intimates of Jesus, because of their fellowship with him, did not agree either with the conservers—seeking to divide and rule and further their own interests—of distinctions among people.
Similar intimacy should be enough for us too who attempt to witness nowadays to Jesus, to the one who, dying for the ungodly, stands out as the best proof of the love of God that “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Jesus still lives with us through the Spirit. We are not orphans. The Spirit is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to be with us always.
The Spirit teaches us everything and guides us to all truth; he reminds us of Jesus’ words and makes us embrace teachings that are hard to understand and practice. With his anointing, we do not need anyone to teach us. He declares to us what he receives from Jesus, who in turn receives everything from the Father. And if we really have intimacy with Jesus, loving him and keeping his word, the Father will love us and the two of them will come to us and make their dwelling with us.
Those who have such an experience of God share it, yes, with others. Making up, with different and diverse people, one community of believers, they reflect the one and triune God by their devotion to a life in accordance with the testimony of the apostles, to fellowship, to participation in the Lord’s Supper, to prayer, to the care of the poor, to cordial respect (Coste IX, 142-160).
Ross Reyes Dizon