Trinity Sunday 2011
A Reflection based on Readings from Exodus, 43, Daniel 3, Corinthians 13, John 3
By Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFD, Mission Sts. Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
The readings for this Sunday honoring the Blessed Trinity of God the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit proclaim one important message that we need to burn into our memory and hold fast to since it sums up the most important thing we need to know about God. God is a God of LOVE, MERCY, and COMPASSION. In essence, God is LOVE consummate. In the first reading from Exodus we read where God himself proclaimed to Moses the following; “"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity." The Responsorial Psalm for this Sunday comes from the book of Daniel and is the ultimate praise prayer that we should profess every day and one which we Franciscans do say at least twice a day in keeping with the fact that St. Francis himself prayed it often throughout the day. It is simple and yet very powerful. “Glory and praise forever! Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all age, Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever. Glory and praise forever! Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Glory and praise forever! Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. Glory and praise forever!”
The second reading informs us on how we should live with one another and again it is a message of extending love like that Christ exhibited to all we meet especially our family, friends and members of our Faith Community. The reading tells us to; “Encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The reading ends with a prayer that we say several times as we celebrate the Mass. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
The Gospel begins by reminding us of how much God and His beloved son loves us when it says; “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” St. John then goes on to remind us that God is not interested in being a God of condemnation; “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
It is, I believe, very appropriate the this year Trinity Sunday that celebrates the 3 distinct separate manifestations of Almighty God yet the unity of them happens to fall this year on Father’s Day since Christ called God His Father. He even told us that when we pray, say; “Our Father who art in heaven”
God exists as three persons but is one God, meaning that God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have exactly the same nature or being as God the Father in every way. Whatever attributes and power God the Father has, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have as well. "Thus, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are also eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinitely wise, infinitely holy, infinitely loving, and omniscient." All this means that since all the attributes of God are Consubstantial meaning "of one being" in that the Son is "generated" ("born" or "begotten") "before all ages" or "eternally" of the Father's own being, from which the Spirit also eternally "proceeds.". All 3 personas of God are the same and therefore the great power and force that is God is LOVE.
To sum up, if we are to become Christ like or God like, we need to work hard on being more loving and accepting of everyone, even those who don’t always treat us well.
That is very difficult, but remember, as he hung on the Cross Christ called out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. To be forgiving of those who have done harm to us is the ultimate way of expressing Love but it is extremely difficult and requires us to be reject the normal human reaction to retaliate. I find that I need to constantly implore the Paraclete to give me the strength and inspiration to be able to become more loving in my relationships with those who do not always treat me well. And since God is generous and loving I find that somehow I am able to forgive and be cordial to those who have hurt me.
Whether we pray to God in the name of Adonai, Yahweh, El-Olam, Jesus or The Paraclete (Holy Spirit) we are praying to the one and only God. The same God that Abraham, Isaac, Moses, King David, Jacob, Mohammad, the Apostles and all the Saints prayed too.
In short, let us establish a line of communication with God and let us try to have more love for all those we encounter. Just possibly, if we can achieve that it will start spreading like a virus that invades people turning their hearts of stone into hearts filled with compassion, mercy and the desire for a world without war, hunger, poverty, homelessness and prejudice. AMEN