In her remarkable first book, God Dwells With Us: Temple Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel, Mary L. Coloe, P.B.V.M., explored the profound insight of John's Gospel expressed in Jesus' invitation to his disciples: Make your home in me, as I make mine in you (John 15:4). For the gospel's author and audience, the dwelling of God among humans was, above all, the Jerusalem Temple. The gospel traces how after the trauma of the destruction of the Temple the Johannine community came to expand and deepen its knowledge of God's dwelling among humans, finding it now in the person of Jesus and in the community of believers.
Dwelling in the Household of God moves us from seeing God's dwelling place as the Temple to seeing God's dwelling place within the community of believers. The starting point now is an image in John 14:2: my Father's house, which is given its Old Testament meaning of my father's household. Our awareness thus moves, like that of the first Christians, from understanding My father's house as the Temple (John 2:16) to My Father's Household as a community of believers drawn into Jesus' own divine filiation. Coloe invites us to re-read the gospel from the post-Easter perspective of those who have become brothers and sisters of Jesus and living Temples of God's presence. What emerges is nothing less than a profound mysticism of the mutual indwelling of God and believers.
Mary Coloe, PBVM, DTh, holds a joint teaching position at the Australian Catholic University and St Paul's Seminary, Brisbane. Her publications include numerous articles and God Dwells With Us: Temple Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel (Liturgical Press, 2001).