- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

May 17, 2017

Fr. Gerard D’Souza, OCSO [1]

5th Wednesday of Easter Time

Remain in me, as I remain in you. In St John’s Gospel remaining and abiding is a recurring theme. In this remaining and abiding, earth mirrors heaven. The Prologue has the Word setting His tent among us. The same Word who at the end of the Prologue abides in the bosom of the Father. In Chapter 1 of St John, the Spirit comes down on Jesus at baptism and remains on Him. In that first chapter in the space of a few verses, you have the abiding of the Trinity in each other.

In the same Chapter 1, the disciples follow Jesus and when He turns around and asks them what they are seeking. They do not ask for doctrine or favors. They simply ask ‘Rabbi where do you remain or abide’ They then go and the Gospel tells us ‘they saw where He remained and they remained with Him’ St John uses the word ‘eidon’ for seeing here. It is not an ordinary seeing with the senses. The disciples were not seeing the house or the furniture or the location. St John remains very cryptic about what they saw. But we can venture a guess – they saw, they sensed, they intuited where Jesus really abides in the bosom of the Father. This is what captivates them. In Jesus they arrive at the final resting place for the human spirit. For in Christ, the Father has finally secured all of reality.

And with this in mind, we must hear what Jesus now, towards the end of St John’s Gospel, will reveal about the whole purpose of His coming from heaven. No longer is it to remain with Him or as the Greek says ‘παρ αυτο’ – that is beside Him. It is a deeper abiding – that is to remain in Him and in Him to remain in the bosom of the Father. He came down from the bosom of the Father to bear us back to that best of Sabbaths – the bosom of the Father.