He is the one he’s with

The opening lines of John’s Gospel can be read with a reverence that obscures the startling and even incomprehensible claim that the author is making: Christ is the one he is with. The Gloria of the Mass, borrowing from the language of the Epistles, intensifies this claim by saying that Christ alone is God, with the Father and the Son (“You alone are the Most High, with the Holy Spirit, etc.”)  The “you” is singular (tu and not vos), and modified by “alone”, i.e. excluding all others. The language thus excludes all others and makes others accompany.

We need an account of the Trinity – the first step of which is to appropriate the abstract noun “trinity” or “threeness” – simply to know how we can say what we’re saying.

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