Sunday, June 08, 2014

Pentecost: Irenaeus. The Spirit is the Good Samaritan: Person-Gift: Gaudium et Spes #24: The Sum of "the Whole of Christian Anthropology"

The Spirit is the Good Samaritan - the "neighbor:" Person-Gift - Whom Christ taught, when challenged by the lawyer to sum up the whole Law.

 [Irenaeus] "When the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.

Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.


  •       "Prior to the cross the Spirit resides in Jesus alone (Jn. 7, 39); he is thus 'not yet there' as far as the believers are concerned. He does not 'come' until that 'final' (jn. 13,1) self-giving of Jesus to his disciples, which is both the giving of his flesh and blood as the communication of eternal life (Jn. 6, 54)... [H. Von Balthasar, "Prayer" Ignatius (1986) 68]. 
  • "The Son's transfigured humanity becomes involved in the eternal spiration of the Holy Spirit, and the immediate consequence of this is that the Spirit is poured out into Christ's mystical body on earth. [Ibid. 70].
  • "He (the Spirit) is not only the gift to the person (the person of the Messiah), but is a Person-gift" (to all) (John Paul II, "Dominum et Vivificantem" #22)
  • "the teaching of this Council (Vat. II) is essentially 'pneumatological:' it is permeated by the truth about the Holy Spirit, as the soul of the Church. (Ibid. #26).
  • As such the Kairos is the turn to an epistemology of the subject ("I") as ontological and constitutively relational.
  • This means that Christ as Person is the revelation of the human person (GS #22) and that the metaphysical anthropology at the core of the Magisterium is GS #24: "man, the only earthly being God  has willed for itself, finds himself by the sincere gift of himself."
  • The prophecy of St. John Paul II then is: "As the year 2000 since the birth of Christ draws near, it is a question of ensuring that an ever greater number of people 'may fully find themselves... through a sincere gift of self,' according to the expression of the Council already quoted. Through the action of the Spirit-Paraclete, may there by accomplished in our world a process of true growth in humanity, in both individual and community life...." (D et V #59).... These words of the Pastoral Constitution of the Council can be said to sum up the whole of Christian anthropology." (Ibid.).

This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of broad, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.

The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.

If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.

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