By Benedict Augustine
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”
Out of sheer goodness and love do God and His Son do what they do. Out of pure benevolence does the Father create, the Son redeem, and Holy Spiritanimate. They do this of Their own will and being; nothing outside of Them compels them to do this. They exist beyond necessity and causes, and act independently.
Put simply, no person in the Holy Trinity really has anything to gain – except maybe Jesus. Jesus does have a fully divine and fully human nature: He cansuffer, yet He can also feel joy and pleasure. Human beings cannot reward a Spiritual Creator since they would only be giving Him something they already received, but they can give Jesus something for the miracles He performs—in this case, feeding five thousand people in the wilderness. They can bestow upon Him the title of king, or great riches, or some epics in the style of Virgil to sing His praises instead the rather quotidian historical accounts in the gospels.
Of course, giving something back immediatelyimplies a hierarchy. Those who have something to give can curry more favor than those who have nothing. People of all ages purchase influence this way, offering gifts and flattery to those with power and finding themselves on a higher level than the other followers. What evolves is an inner circle of generous donors that ripples into outer circles which donate a little less than them, until a group of ne’er-do-wells peers in from the outside of this hierarchy feeling excluded yet again from God’s goodness as well as the world’s. This happens in every form of government: monarchy, oligarchy, and even democracy.
Jesus does not want this. He does not want anyone’s support; He has God’s support, which is more than enough. Even when He calls His disciples, He does not do this for His own sake, but for their sake and His father’s sake. He repeats this constantly in the gospel of John: everything He says and does is for His Father in heaven. He may have a fully human nature, but He does not have a human perspective. His divinity has led Him to see as His Father sees. He sees the world as it is, people as the are, and His mission to save people from the world. God gives Jesus His eyes, and this makes some of what Jesus says difficult to understand clearly.
God also give Jesus His children, all of humanity. Jesus does not pick favorites, for He loves them all. In being this way, He models for disciples how theyshould act in their own capacity. No one in His Church should reject what God has given. The only thing a disciple should reject is sin; after all, sin constitutes a rejection of God. If one comes to the Church, repentant and desirous of following Jesus’ commandments, they may join the table and share in the Bread of Life.
In other words, Jesus gives Himself and His Father’s salvation as gifts. He gives these giftsindiscriminately. The only condition is that one must accept His love as a gift, not as payment for good behavior or as a token of approval for bad behavior. He gives as His Father gives, freely and lovingly, yet we must accept his gifts in the same manner, freely and lovingly. This requires the kind of humility and patience that many people might not possess. We need God’s eyes.
When we accept Jesus’ gift, we will start to havethose eyes. We will stop doing our will, which considers things like payment and favor, and do God’s will, building the kingdom and saving souls. The cycle of utility and exchange in all dimensions of life can be broken. The love of the Father, the love of the Son, and the holy love of the apostles all break that cycle. No one is rejected, except those who reject. All are welcome.