“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
How amazing it is that God deigns to dwell within us!
We can only appreciate this truth adequately when we have a deep sense of our own lowliness and sinfulness. In other words, we cannot understand what it truly means if we do not at the same time find it strange. The alternative is to take it for granted, and to think that it is because we are so great that we were found worthy to receive his presence, or that there was never a time in which we did not have it, or even thinking that we can never lose it. But the truth is both more beautiful and more grave: “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us… While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son… Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall” (Rom 5:8, 10; 1 Cor 10:12). Indeed, God makes his dwelling within us as a free gift and according to his will (when he wills and how he wills) as a seed is planted in the ground according to the plan of the gardener. The ground does not deserve the seed, nor does it have control over the gardener–likewise we do not have control over God, and did not deserve to receive God’s presence within us when it in fact came and filled our hearts through faith and baptism. With humility we must cherish this incredible gift and never take it for granted, nurturing it through keeping his word, praying never to voluntarily cast it out it through grave sin or choke off its growth through less serious sin. Christ calls us to achieve and maintain the wonder and joy of the gift of the divine indwelling through vigilance.
Let us all spend time in prayer sometime this week meditating on the words of scripture: “My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” How amazing it is that God has deigned to dwell within us!