The Holy Spirit? When one plus one equals three

By Rev Terrance Klein, 4 June 2022
Image: Erika Giraud/Unsplash


A Reflection for the Feast of Pentecost

Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 103(104):1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 14:15-16, 23b-26

When one plus one equals three, that is how you know somebody is your true friend.

In the Western church, to the extent that we can define or even coherently speak of the Holy Spirit, we say that the Father begets the Son and that the mutual love of Father and Son “breathes forth” (Latin: spirare) the Spirit.

Put another way, the love of Father and Son is so intense, so real, so abundant that it creates a third person. One plus one equals three. The Holy Spirit exists because the Father and the Son, together, are more than “the sum of their parts.”

We need not make the Holy Spirit into something obtuse, especially when we find the Spirit’s mark repeatedly impressed into our lives. When one plus one equals three, you and another have become more than yourselves. You have welcomed your origin and your destiny, both of which lie outside yourselves. Human friendship is the shadow of the Holy Spirit.

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The Rev. Terrance W. Klein is a priest of the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas, and author of Vanity Faith.

With thanks to America and Fr Terrance W. Klein, where this article originally appeared.


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