There is a continuity between the Father sending the Son and then the Son returning to the Father so that the Spirit can be sent. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in a section titled, “The Divine Works and the Trinitarian Missions” (Nos. 257-60) explains that this going forth on the part of God is due to the fact that God is love, and he “freely wills to communicate the glory of his blessed life.” This means being conformed to the image of the Son of God through “the spirit of sonship.” The catechism points out that this plan of salvation “unfolds in the work of creation, the whole history of salvation after the fall, and the missions of the Son and the Spirit, which are continued in the mission of the Church.”
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